Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Texas House approves non-government funded, operated needle exchange pilots

Remarkably, HB 65 by McClendon this evening passed on second reading by a 92-37 vote with no floor debate, after needle exchange had been one of the more contentious topics debated on the House floor in 2013. A majority of Republicans supported the bill (44-37) and all Democrats. 

Congratulations to Chairwoman McClendon and her staff. This was an impressive victory after the filed version of the bill faced a rocky start in its committee hearing. From there to a 9-0 committee vote to a 5-2 margin on the House floor has been quite a fascinating trek. (Your correspondent has been pleased to help them in the process on behalf of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition.)

Now, on to the Senate, where we find out if the re-vamped bill - no taxpayer money, operated by nonprofits instead of government - receives as cheerful a welcome on the eastern side of the capitol.

See related coverage from the SA Express News, the Dallas News, and perhaps the best coverage so far from the Dallas Voice.

RELATED: Why conservatives should support TX bill authorizing non-government needle exchange pilots.

UPDATE (5/13): The bill passed on third reading Wednesday morning and now heads to the eastern side of the capitol for consideration by the Texas Senate.

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