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TribBlog: Bills Get Social

HJR 51 hasn't had a committee hearing, and was only filed Jan. 4, but it already has 111 Facebook friends and hundreds of Twitter followers. As lawmakers scramble in the coming months to push their legislation through the Lege, expect more and more bills to get their own social media presence.

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Your newest Facebook friend and your latest Twitter follower could be an inanimate object: a House bill.

House Joint Resolution 51 — Rep. Wayne Christian's anti-health care reform measure to allow Texans to go without health insurance without a penalty — hasn't even had a committee hearing. It was only filed Jan. 4. But it's already got 111 Facebook friends and hundreds of Twitter followers — not too shabby for a 278-word bill. 

In the span of a single biennium, many lawmakers have boosted their online credentials, establishing Facebook pages and persistent Twitter threads. But as far as we can tell, this is the first time a Texas bill has had its own social media presence. As lawmakers scramble to push their pet legislation through jam-packed committees, expect an increased reliance on social media tools, to rally their troops and put public pressure on their colleagues.   

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