Texas Senate Bill 12 (SB12), the law that would regulate tech companies as common carriers in the Lone Star State, stalled at the end of the legislative session this week due to Democrat delaying tactics, leading to jubilation from Big Tech’s paid lobbyists.
The bill could still pass if Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) adds it to an upcoming special legislative session in June. State Rep. Scott Sanford (R), who sponsored the bill in the Texas House of Representatives, is supporting such a move.
“It’s too important to put off for two years. I encourage Governor Abbott to add it to the upcoming special session,” Rep. Sanford told Breitbart News.
SB12 has won praise from Adam Candeub, a tenured law professor and former senior administration official who spearheaded President Trump’s efforts to change the rules around Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the federal law that tech companies rely on to avoid a wide range of legal liability.
“The Texas law, by invoking common carriage authority and directly addressing censorship, is a real step forward. This is a direction that other states should follow,” Candeub told Breitbart News earlier this month.
The bill, introduced into the Senate by Texas Sen. Bryan Hughes, and sponsored in the Texas House by Rep. Sanford, won the support of Gov. Abbott early in the legislative process.
“Social media sites have become our modern day public squares where information should be able to flow freely, but social media companies are now acting as judge and jury on determining what viewpoints are valid,” said Governor Abbott in a press conference with Sen. Hughes in support of the bill last month.
However, due to a last-minute point of order called by Democrat representatives in the Texas House of Representatives, the bill failed to pass during this legislative session.
The Democrat delaying tactics were applauded by Google’s former director of U.S. public policy, Adam Kovacevich — also a former Democrat aide, who said the bill would have allowed “hate” and “disinformation” to spread — two favorite left-wing buzzwords.
Breitbart News previously published leaked audio of Kovacevich, while he was still Google’s top U.S. policy director, disparaging the conservative movement while also promising employees that the company would use its political contributions to “steer” the movement in a direction favorable to the tech giant and its values.
In a comment to Breitbart News, Rep. Sanford slammed Democrats for trying to kill the bill.
“These big tech companies cannot be the sole deciders of what is true and what is not. Classic liberals have historically protected freedom of expression,” said Sanford. “It’s sad that today’s Democratic party are siding with corporate giants who are intent on canceling expressions that they don’t agree with which is evidenced by their political donations.”
It is still possible for the bill to pass in the near term, in the likely event that a special legislative session is called in Texas in the coming month. But there are a limited number of bills that can be brought to the floor in any given session — Gov. Abbott will have to make it clear to Republicans in the Texas House that passing SB12 is a priority.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.