I’ll say this for Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler — the man is persistent. Like a weed is persistent.
His one-man crusade to pass a law “protecting” Texas from Sharia law — a threat that apparently exists only in his mind, and possibly on talk radio — has officially become a zombie tale. This is the bill that just won’t die. First, he passed HB 911 out of a House committee, only to see it die in the House Calendars Committee without a hearing on the House floor. Then he amended it onto the governor’s emergency tort reform legislation (with the help of Rep. Harvey Hilderbran, R-Kerrville) last week. But that bill (HB 274) was given an overhaul in the Senate State Affairs Committee over the weekend, and Berman’s amendment was stripped out of the bill.
Undeterred, Berman was back on the House floor last night, pushing to add his anti-foreign law language as an amendment to yet another bill (SB 1717). And as with his previous attempt, the words “Sharia law” or “Islam” were never mentioned during the brief discussion in the House. The amendment passed without a word of dissent — or even a record vote.
Since Berman’s amendment was one of several significant changes the House made to this bill, it will likely be assigned to a conference committee to resolve the differences. We’ll be watching to see if this language finally passes into law, or if this is strike three for Berman.