Rep. Howard is a recognized leader on a variety of issues in the Texas House, including nursing, women’s health, public education, and the budget.

In the recent legislative session, she authored or sponsored the following bills which were signed into law:

  • HB 280, establishing a grant program for reducing verbal and physical violence against nurses
  • HB 281, creating a statewide electronic tracking system for rape kits
  • HB 394, recognizing the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center as the State Botanical Garden and Arboretum
  • HB 630, requiring live internet broadcasting and archiving of all open meetings of state health agencies
  • HB 635, enabling the issuance of temporary vendor permits on the soon-to-come pedestrian mall just north of the Texas State Capitol
  • HB 3526, renaming the public education materials fund to better reflect its allowable uses, making it the Technology and Instructional Materials Allotment
  • SB 491, specifying the inclusion of Family Medicine in the Texas Statewide Preceptorship Program
  • SB 802, requiring the collection of data and a report to the Legislature on higher education articulation agreements
  • SB 810, establishing an online repository for digital Open Education Resources (OER) content, which can be accessed by any school district, as well as a web portal allowing teachers to search for these materials
  • SB 1091, ensuring that dual credit courses will transfer between institutions and apply toward a degree
  • SB 1119, adding demographic information to the current report on the Texas Work-Study Program, to better ensure that it is helping students gain career-relevant experience
  • SB 1367, allowing public colleges and universities to adopt policies regarding epi-pens to treat severe allergic reactions
  • SB 1630, updating laws governing abandoned and unmarked cemeteries, to better protect private property rights as well as the historical value of remains and artifacts
  • SB 2141, requiring certain special education advocates – those receiving compensation for representing parents in special ed due process hearings – to be subject to a voluntary code of ethics and to put the terms of their representation into writing

She also successfully amended SB 73 to authorize state agencies to allow extended leave for state-employed veterans seeking medical and mental health care.