The hearing is available online for your viewing pleasure. It took place in three segments: morning can be seen here (forward to 1:00:45); lunch can be seen here; and the night time can be viewed here.
In addition, Grits for Breakfast covered the issue masterfully before and after the hearing. In the first piece, Grits provides links to all prior coverage which gives a rich history of the issue, and correctly points out:
"A majority of Public Health Committee members already voted for needle exchange once. The House had a vote in 2007 on an amendment by Rep. McLendon to allow a needle exchange pilot in Bexar County that tells us a lot about the bill's likely reception on committee. Here's how the committee members voted on that 2007 amendment:In the second piece published after the morning hearing, Grits observed:Ayes: Naishtat; Coleman; Gonzales; Hopson; McReynolds, King, S;
Nays: Laubenberg, Truitt
Absent: Kolkhorst; Davis, J;
Present not voting: Zerwas"
"Rep. Susan King, who chaired the subcommittee, was an especially knowledgeable and enthusiastic proponent for the legislation; I hope she'll repeat the performance when it comes up on the House floor because she did a great job arguing the merits of the program.Things are happening quickly now. Please stay tuned for more information about this life-saving legislation as it becomes available.
"Reacting to urging from the chair and committee member Dr. John Zerwas, King said the subcommittee added a strong counseling component to the bill, requiring syringe exchange programs to be "one stop shopping" information centers for helping drug addicts access treatment and medical services.
"The witnesses began with ministers from St. Mark's in San Antonio and another minister from Austin who gave a faith-based argument for the program. A minister from St. Mark's said Christ ate and sat with sinners, not to condone them but to redeem them. The Austin minister said healing was a central activity of Jesus' own ministry - 72% of Jesus' miraculous activity relates to healing those with physical or mental illness, he said."