- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas Senate has unanimously approved a measure to further shield journalists from libel lawsuits if they accurately report a whistleblower’s allegations that turn out to be false.

The Wednesday vote came after weeks of negotiations between organizations that represent trial lawyers and reporters.

The bill’s author, Houston Republican Sen. Joan Huffman, said all parties are now in agreement that “accuracy in reporting is a defense to libel.”

Advocates say the practice has been common in Texas for years. But the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas said the need for the protection arose from a 2014 Supreme Court of Texas ruling that left state libel law nebulous.

A similar measure carried by a House Republican was left pending after a Tuesday committee hearing.

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