The Source: Ethics Reform Failing To Get Traction At Legislature
Ethics Reform was touted by both Candidate Abbott and now Governor Abbott as a priority for Texas' 84th legislature. The Governor's comments gave hope to ethics reform advocates that dark money groups would be forced to disclose their donors, conflicts of interests would be outed in state contracts, and the revolving door of legislators becoming lobbyists would be stymied. Unfortunately, As the biennium winds down, ethics reform appears unlikely to pass.
Senate Bill 19 provided criminal penalties on some ethics violations, was endorsed by Governor Abbott and passed out of the Senate, but remains in a House Committee. House Bill 1295, bill dealing with the disclosure of 'interested parties' in state contracts, is in a similar state, having passed out of the house and waiting for a hearing in a Senate committee.
With a June 1st dismissal, will the legislature run out of time on ethics reform?
- Cal Jillson, professor of Political Science at Southern Methodist University and author of the book "Lone Star Tarnished"
- Ross Ramsey, executive editor at the Texas Tribune (@rossramsey)