Texas Sen. Angela Paxton Files Bill That Would Impact Attorney General's Office

Sen. Paxton's husband, Attorney General Ken Paxton, faces felony charges for failing to register as an investment adviser

What to Know

  • State Sen. Angela Paxton introduced a bill that would relax regulations around financial markets.
  • The bill would impact an agency that is overseen by the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton -- Sen. Paxton's husband.
  • Ken Paxton still faces a third degree felony charge for failing to register as an investment adviser.

A bill authored by state Sen. Angela Paxton (R-McKinney) could extend the power of Texas' Attorney General's office, according to a story first reported by the Texas Tribune.

Senate Bill 860 calls for a program that would exempt approved applicants from certain state regulations and would give them limited access to the financial market "without obtaining a license, registration, or other regulatory authorization."

The program would be administered by the consumer protection unit, which is part of the Attorney General Ken Paxton's office. The Attorney General is Sen. Paxton's husband.

"She is filing a bill that would give her husband, as the Attorney General, additional authority over financial advisers and financial investment regulation," SMU political science professor Cal Jillson said.

Paxton himself is still facing a third-degree felony charge for failing to register as an investment adviser. Jillson said eyebrows might be raised because this bill would make similar activities legal in the future.

"I guess the most interesting part of this is why Angela Paxton didn't see these hurdles, why she has stepped into an area that will draw her ethical and political instincts into question," Jillson said.

Sen. Paxton sent NBC 5 a statement about the bill.

“I filed this bill because it's good policy for Texas, Texas job creators and consumers. It's based on an Arizona law which is serving that state well. Like all filed bills, this one will go through the legislative process and be modified as needed to reflect citizen and industry feedback.”

NBC 5 reached out to the Office of the Attorney General, but has not heard back.

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