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Texas Lawmakers to Consider Social Media Privacy, Abortion Bills
With the 83rd Texas Legislature nearly three weeks in, lawmakers continue to craft and file bills, including those on a number of hot topics. One of those is privacy in social media, some lawmakers believe the public domain should come with a certain amount of privacy.
If passed, HB 318 would ban any employer from requiring or even asking for usernames or passwords to the personal accounts of employees and job applicants through electronic communication devices. Those includes computers, phones, tablets, and similar devices. Employers would still be able to monitor employee usage of devices or email accounts that they provide. There's also a Senate bill to go along with it.
A different bill, HB 451, takes the concept a step further, extending the protection to current or prospective college students at both private and public schools.
Abortion also continues to remain a major wedge issue at the State Capitol. A bill filed by Rep. Allen Fletcher would ban doctors from performing abortions based on gender. The doctor could lose his or her license. Another bill by Sen. Dan Patrick would make it harder for doctors to prescribe medicine to induce abortion by creating several new requirements. Some advocates say it protects women while opponents worry it will make it more difficult to get abortions and could have a negative impact especially in rural areas.
Gov. Rick Perry has also called for a bill that would ban abortion for any baby that can feel the pain of the procedure. Opponents have questioned the science behind some of the arguments for the bill and say its another attempt to limit rights.
If passed, all bills would become law on September 1.
By Adam Bennett