The Texas House Committee on State Sovereignty took up a handful of bills today - all with the stated goal of protecting Texas from the Federal Healthcare law. The bills use different tactics to nullify the federal law. With one by Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler) making it a felony if a federal employee tried to enforce the program in Texas. State employees, like health and human services workers would only be changed with a misdemeanor.
Though the topic has locally and nationally lead to many tense, emotional debates, the lawmakers at the hearing have been very gentile. Houston Democrat Senfronia Thompson even thanked Berman for bringing the bill to the committee so it could be debated.
The Berman bill, along with others, are relying on courts to continue to declare the federal law unconstitutional. As Berman said to the committee, "if the Supreme Court rules the healthcare law constitutional then the bill goes away."
KUT News will have more on today’s hearing this afternoon on All Things Considered.