Texas Ethics Reform Bill Marks Progress But Doesn't Touch Dark Money

Today, a Texas lawmaker can leave office on a Monday and become a registered lobbyist on Tuesday. Lobbyists can use a loophole to split the tab when wining and dining lawmakers, to avoid having to disclose big expenses. And lawmakers convicted of a felony are allowed to keep their state pension. This is the dismal state of Texas ethics rules — and illustrates why lawmakers should back SB 14 and companion bills in the House. The senate version (from state Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano) and the House version (from Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth) aim to create accountability with overdue no-nonsense reforms.   Continue reading...

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