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Release - First in Nation: Bill to Ban TSA Groping Passes Important Vote in Texas House

May 13, 2011 @ 02:23:25

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2011
Contact: Kathi Seay, Office of State Representative David Simpson, 512-463-0750Kathi.Seay@house.state.tx.us

FIRST IN THE NATION: BILL TO BAN TSA GROPING
PASSES IMPORTANT VOTE IN TEXAS HOUSE

HB 1937, Which Bans Intrusive Groping of Travelers, Passed Second Reading in the Texas House of Representatives

(Austin) – Landmark legislation to stop the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) from groping travelers without probable cause has passed an important vote in the Texas House. Last night HB 1937 was given unanimous approval by voice vote on second reading. HB 1937, authored by Representative David Simpson (R-Longview), is the first bill in the country that would actively restrict the TSA’s intrusive screening practices to pass a legislative vote.

“HB 1937 is a significant step forward in the protection of our constitutional and civil liberties,” said Rep. Simpson. “Groping innocent citizens does little to enhance security but it does much to reduce our freedom and dignity. I am very thankful that members of both parties have joined together to defend our citizens’ dignity against the TSA’s egregious screening methods.”

HB 1937 would make it a criminal act for security personnel to touch a person’s private areas without probable cause as a condition of travel or as a condition of entry into a public place. This bill is not intended to contravene any federal statutes currently in place.

94 Representatives—a near supermajority—have signed on to HB 1937 as either joint or coauthors, supporting Rep. Simpson’s legislation.  The bill will be voted on during third reading later today and then will proceed to the Texas Senate.

Texas’ efforts to stop the TSA from abusing travelers have attracted significant national and international attention from The Washington Post, MSNBC, Fox News, Drudge Report, The Guardian, USA Today, and others.

Eight other states, including Alaska, Washington, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania, also have legislation pending to protect travelers’ dignity. New Jersey was the first state to file similar legislation. The Alaska House of Representatives became the first state to pass a resolution against TSA abuses back in March.

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