AUSTIN — Texas took a major step toward enacting tough new abortion restrictions on Friday, after a lawmaker cut short an 11-hour attempt to stage a “citizen’s filibuster.”
Hundreds of people were waiting to speak — the vast majority of them women opposed to the legislation — when House Affairs Chairman Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, said the witnesses had become repetitive and he would allow only two more hours of testimony. Normally each witness may testify for three minutes on a bill, and Cook’s decision to halt public participation was the first time a chairman had used that prerogative in recent memory.
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