Unlike other similar bans, HB 1399 would not have officially classified these procedures as child abuse, which would have empowered Child Protective Services (CPS) to intervene and potentially remove children who underwent the procedures from their families. Instead, it targeted doctors.
Under the bill, carried by state Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth), doctors that prescribe puberty blockers or perform sex-changing surgeries would be committing a prohibited practice. Other prohibited practices for doctors range from falsifying a license to performing a criminal abortion, all punishable by the Texas Medical Board with fines of up to $5,000 and license suspension.
While HB 1399 is technically dead two other similar bills may still pass.
Much like Krause’s proposal, Senate Bill (SB) 1311 would punish doctors instead of parents and was placed on the Texas Senate’s intent calendar today. Since Senate bills enjoy later deadlines than House bills, SB 1311 may reach the House floor — if the Senate passes it, the House committee votes on it favorably, and the Calendars Committee gives it priority.
House committees have until May 22 to act on Senate bills. The full House chamber has until May 25 to consider them, or May 26 if the bills are local or expected to meet no opposition.
Other than SB 1311, all bans of this kind have rolled to the bottom of the House Public Health Committee, chaired by Rep. Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth). Since the deadline for House committees to act on House bills has already passed, they are also dead and only their Senate versions have a chance to proceed. House Bill 4014, House Bill 2693, and House Bill 68 — the first ban of its kind filed this session — all died in Public Health.
Even though Krause’s HB 1399 made it out, its low calendar placement spelled doom long before last night.
Here are where the bills to ban gender reassignment for children stand in the Texas legislature:
SB 1311 by Sen. Bob Hall (R-Friendswood) and companion HB 2693 by Rep. Steve Toth (R-Spring): The Senate bill passed committee and awaits a vote on the Senate floor; the House bill died in the House Public Health Committee.
HB 68 by Toth: Died in the House Public Health Committee.
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