The Texas Free Flow of Information Act, which would bring to the state a reporter’s privilege, passed a final legislative hurdle Thursday and is now bound for Gov. Rick Perry’s desk.
With a 146 to 0 vote in favor of HB 670, the Texas House approved minor Senate amendments to legislation that would provide reporters with a qualified privilege from being compelled in court to reveal their sources and information, whether confidential or not. The bill’s protections would cover anyone who gathers news "for a substantial portion of the person’s livelihood or for substantial financial gain."
The House vote came just two days after the bill was unanimously approved by the Senate.
Perry has 10 days to sign the measure into law. The Associated Press said the governor "has not taken a firm position on the latest version of the bill."
Texas, which failed to pass similar bills in 2005 and 2007, is one of 14 states without a shield law.