ATR Letter in Support of Senate Bill 1978

To: Members of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services

From: Americans for Tax Reform

Re: Senate Bill 1978

Dear Chairwoman Kolkhorst, Chairman Perry, and members of the committee, 

On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and our supporters across Texas, I thank you for your efforts to enact historic tax relief and reduce regulatory costs this session. Thanks to your leadership, Texas continues to be a model for sound governance. I write to encourage you to support Senate Bill 1978, legislation that would improve access to vital health care and bring down consumer costs through limited government. This needed reform has overwhelming bipartisan support, passing out of the House today by a vote of 143 to 1, and many hope to see the Senate send this bill to Governor Abbott’s desk.  

By enacting SB 1978, you can help improve access to oral health care across Texas, something that is greatly needed in many parts of the state, particularly rural communities. You and your colleagues have fostered a very attractive tax and regulatory climate, which has helped make Texas one of the fastest-growing states. Such robust population growth translates into rapidly growing demand for dental care and other services. Enactment of SB 1978 would address this growing demand by having Texas join the multi-state Dentist and Dental Hygienist Compact (DDHC). By enacting this reform, new Texas residents who have a dentist or dental hygienist license from another compact member state would be able to get to work right away in the Lone Star State without having to wait for a new license to be processed. 

The official website for the DDHC notes that it “enables licensed dentists and dental hygienists to practice in all states participating in the compact, as opposed to them obtaining an individual license in every state they want to practice.” By making it easier for dentist and dental hygienists to work in Texas, this reform will expand access to oral health care across the state. 

Nearly half of the states now have a universal licensure law on the books that recognizes occupational licenses issued in other states. In lieu of enacting universal licensure, which is a good idea but doesn’t seem likely to pass this session, creating an expedited path to licensure for oral health professionals by enacting SB 1978 is a great way to improve access to vital health care and help bring down costs for Texans.

I thank you for your public service and consideration of this input. If you have any questions, or if ATR can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or Patrick Gleason, ATR’s vice president of state affairs, at 202-785-0266 or [email protected].


Grover Norquist