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This Week’s Spotlight: Showdown on the House Floor

Rarely do bills experience push back at the stage of the Legislative process called ‘third reading’, but leave it to medical liberty bills to buck the trend! After a drawn-out struggle during second reading (the first time the bill was heard on the House floor) between Rep. Swanson (the bill author) and various other Representatives who would stop at nothing to try to water down the intent of the bill, Wednesday’s third reading saw last-ditch attempts to kill HB44. Rep. Toni Rose pleaded with the House to vote “no” on the bill, making the illogical argument that children would actually lose access to healthcare by a bill that actually broadens access. Surprisingly, she was shut down by her colleague Rep. Terry Canales. In a very straightforward manner, Rep. Canales argued that children in the community he represents would suffer if HB 44 didn’t pass, underscoring that this bill would protect the most needy and medically fragile children in Texas. If you would have told TFVC eight years ago that a Democrat would stand at the back microphone defending a medical liberty bill against another Democrat, or that multiple Democrats would break with their party to vote for one of our legislative priorities, we would have said you were crazy. But in a post-COVID world, anything seems to be possible.

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