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May 18, 2005     (512) 463-0300

SENATE PASSES PARENTAL CONSENT BILL
Senator Juan (Chuy) Hinojosa (left) and Senator Kyle Janek stand with the National Mathcount Championship Team from Sugarland. The team won the national competition held in Detroit on May 6
Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (left) and Senator Kyle Janek stand with the National Mathcount Championship Team from Sugarland. The team won the national competition held in Detroit on May 6.

Minors seeking to have abortions would have to get parental approval if a measure passed by the Senate today becomes law. Senate Bill 1150, by Arlington Senator Chris Harris, would require a physician to obtain parental consent before performing an abortion on a person 17 years of age or younger. The bill does, however, allow a judge to waive this requirement under certain circumstances.

A minor can get an abortion without parental consent if a judge rules the minor is mentally mature enough to make the decision for herself, or if obtaining consent is not in the best interest of the minor, or if it could result in parental abuse. A minor would also be allowed to have an abortion without consent if there is serious health risk associated with giving birth. If a judge does not rule on the case within two days following the appeal filing, then it is assumed that the waiver is granted.

The bill would also make all these court proceedings confidential and not subject to the Open Meetings Act. Doctors who perform an abortion on a minor without the proper consent or waiver would face a $10,000 fine.

The state budget, the Senate also passed a bill today that would raise a number of application fees in an effort to add flexibility to the state budget. SB 1863, by Bryan Senator Steve Ogden, would increase the registration fee for a lobbyist that does not represent a tax-exempt organization from $300 to $1,000. It would also increase application fees for oil and gas wells, and clarifies statutes to ease the collection of the motor vehicle gas tax. State employees would also be allowed to waive state-sponsored medical coverage if they can demonstrate that they are adequately covered through another underwriter.

The Senate will reconvene Thursday, May 19 at 8 a.m. for consideration of the local and uncontested calendar, and will convene in regular session at 11 a.m.

Session video and all other webcast recordings can be accessed from the Senate website's audio and video archive pages.

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