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Texas debates shield law

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  1. Protecting Sources and Materials
Texas lawmakers on Monday debated a proposed state shield law, the Associated Press reported. The Free Flow of Information Act,…

Texas lawmakers on Monday debated a proposed state shield law, the Associated Press reported.

The Free Flow of Information Act, which would provide a qualified privilege for confidential sources, was discussed at the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee. This is the third session in which a shield law has been debated in Texas.

This session, three bills are on the table – one in the Senate and two in the House.

“The Free Flow of Information Act gives judges a framework to allow confidential sources to be protected with certain exceptions,” Fred Hartman, chairman of the Texas Daily Newspaper Association and the Texas Press Association, told the Houston Chronicle.

Supporters of the bill argue that it is needed in order to give whistleblowers and reporters protection as they uncover matters of public importance. But prosecutors have opposed the bill, saying it would hinder their ability to obtain evidence.