Friday, May 13, 2005

R.I.P. HB 1212

Here we go again! As soon as HB 1212 on parental consent hit the House floor yesterday, a Point of Order was called based on a witness form that was filled out incorrectly in a previous House State Affairs Committee hearing. Rep. King (author of the bill) announced from the floor that there was a valid point of order, so he pulled down the bill himself allowing ample time for other bills to be heard before the midnight deadline. So it seems HB 1212 is really dead.

Quote from Rep. King:
"I think we would have had about 90 votes on the floor. The parents of Texas want this. Doctors can't do any other medical procedure [on a minor] without the parent's consent--except for abortion--that's just wrong."

On the Senate side, Senator Chris Harris had his version of the parental consent bill (SB 1150) heard in the Senate State Affairs Committee yesterday following the death of HB 1212. His version stripped some of the more controversial aspects of King's bill such as the limited venue requirement on judicial bypass hearings.

During the committee vote on SB 1150, Senator Rodney Ellis mysteriously left the room, allowing the bill to get the unanimous committee vote it needed to move to the local and uncontested calendar. Apparently, Sen. Harris promised Sen. Ellis that if SB 1150 came back from the House amended with language from King's HB 1212, Harris would kill it (that's why Ellis willingly left the room allowing the unanimous vote).

The Committee passed SB 1150 6-0. The bill was placed on the local and uncontested calendar. Chances are the bill will likely fly through the senate.