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Texas Senate Passes Comprehensive Ethics Reform with Unanimous Support

February 7, 2017

AUSTIN – The Texas Senate today approved a comprehensive ethics reform bill, Senate Bill 14, by a vote of 31-0. If passed, the legislation would be the first major ethics bill in 25 years.

Among its many provisions, the bill will remove politicians from office and revoke their pensions if convicted of a felony; require politicians to disclose any government contracts, bond counsel or legal referral fees; require lobbyists to disclose their spending on the immediate family members of legislative and executive branch members; and prohibit politicians from immediately becoming lobbyists straight out of office.

“Today was a proud day for the Texas Senate, unanimously passing major ethics reform just one week after Governor Abbott declared it an emergency item,” Senate Bill 14 author, Van Taylor, stated earlier today. “The commonsense, bipartisan and bicameral pillars for ethics reform contained within this bill allowed for swift passage in the Senate while preventing excuses for failure. As elected officials, we are privileged to serve and represent the people who put us in office and this bill makes good on that oath,” he added.

Bill co-author and Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Senator Paul Bettencourt affirmed, “It takes tremendous leadership to bring an ethics bill to the floor. Senator Taylor worked with members of both parties to make sure we take this issue seriously. I believe Senate Bill 14 will be the first major ethics bill in twenty-five years passed by both the house and the senate and signed into law by the Governor of Texas.”

“At the end of the day, this isn’t my bill, this isn’t the Governor’s bill, this is the people’s bill,” Taylor declared.

 

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Texas Senate Republican Caucus Chair Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) accepted the Faith in Action Award from the Texas Pastor's Council on behalf of Senator Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) for her work in the 85th Legislative Session.

Watch the video below and read the letter from Senator Kolkhorst here: bit.ly/2tynO1V
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