With House speaker's help, 911 bill passes committee
By a party-line vote -- and a stacked committee -- a measure to restrict the public release of 911 tapes won approval in the House Government Affairs Policy Committee. The legislation (PCB GAP 10-03) is a top priority for House Speaker Larry Cretul, who put his top lieutenant, Pro Tem Ron Reagan, on the committee to guarantee passage.
In the end Reagan's vote was not decisive, but his presence likely helped corral Republicans. It passed 8-5 with two GOP lawmakers absent.
Supporters labeled the legislation a "victims' rights" measure, but Rep. Kevin Ambler suggested it would help control a different anathema to the GOP: the media.
"We live in a different era today ... in the age of the Internet and 24/7 media ... this gets to the sensationalism," he said.