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Abortion Bill Will Be Considered Tuesday in House Committee

Testimony will be limited
Jordan Smith, 2:46pm, Mon. Jul. 1, 2013
Illustration by Jason Stout

Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, chair of the House State Affairs Committee, said this afternoon that he will limit the amount of testimony allowed during the posted Tuesday, July 2, afternoon hearing of House Bill 2, the omnibus abortion regulations bill that's on the top of the agenda of today's second-called special legislative session.

In response to questions posed on the floor by Houston Dem. Rep. Senfronia Thompson, Cook said he will consider testimony in connection to the abortion regulations bill until "a time certain, at midnight" Tuesday evening.

The hearing is planned for a small room in the Capitol Extension – which may not even be big enough for the full committee, noted Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, who asked that the hearing room arrangements be reconsidered. Cook said he would make sure there's enough room for the committee.

He would not say, however, how soon the Committee would vote the bill out to the full House for consideration – that will take place right after the committee hearing closes or sometime later on Wednesday, July 3, he said.

Would it be possible to hold multiple days of hearings in order to ensure that everyone is heard, Farrar asked. "I do not support that," Cook said – the issues have been heard several times, he said, noting also that he's resisted colleagues' requests that he do away with testimony altogether and merely move to considering the bill for passage during a formal committee hearing.

The House is not slated to return for business until Tuesday, July 9.

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