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Senate Bill 2017 Enacted

Senate Bill 2017 by Senator Judith Zaffirini was passed by the Texas Legislature during the 88th Legislative Session. The bill was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott on June 18, 2023. SB 2017 amends current law relating to the regulation of hearing aids and the practices of audiology and the fitting and dispensing of hearing instruments. Specifically, SB 2017 aligns Texas law with federal law to eliminate confusion on who can sell a hearing instrument.

Background: On October 17, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration created an over-the-counter category of hearing instruments and issued guidance on the regulatory requirements for those products. Under state law, these over-the-counter devices would have met the definition of “hearing instruments,” requiring a license to sell the devices. Consequently, prior to the enactment of SB 2017, state law conflicted with federal regulations.

SB 2017 directs the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation to adopt rules prescribing the information required to be included in relation to contracts and signage no later than December 1, 2023. Over the coming months, TDLR staff and advisory boards will develop rule language for adoption by this date.

Please be sure to subscribe to TDLR email updates to stay informed about opportunities for public input and comment related to these rules, including upcoming advisory board meetings, Commission meetings, and rule publications.