Tuesday, May 10, 2011

UPDATE: HB 1386 on Calendar for Wednesday

The hallmark of the end of session is that things move quickly. Not an hour after I posted that HB 1386 was waiting to be put on the schedule, I received notice that it had been placed on Wednesday's "general state calendar". The general state calendar is a list of bills that effect the entire state, but do not effect all Texans. In this case HB 1386 would only effect young people.

The bill, by Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) is a comprehensive, multi-agency, attempt to reduce teen suicide. The House Public Health Committee made some changes to the bill before voting it out including removing references to sexual orientation and gender identity and expression as well as the original bill's requirement that schools report instances of bullying. An earlier draft of the committee substitute named the bill "Asher's Law" after Asher Brown, the 12 year old Houston area boy whose suicide following years of torturous school bullying captured the nation's attention last year, that is also missing from the current version.

HB 1386 is the 16th bill in-line for consideration on Wednesday, it is very possible that the House may not complete the entire day's calendar that day, in which case the whole list will role over to Thursday. If HB 1386 is not brought up for debate by midnight on Thursday it is dead.

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