AUSTIN – Today, the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 19 (SB 19) by Senator Van Taylor.
“Expanding ethics requirements for our public officers is not only the right thing to do, but it instills public trust,” said Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. “Transparency in state business is a key factor to a sound and limited government.”
“To have the privilege of serving today, not only did our constituents give us their vote, they entrusted us to represent them above all else,” added Senator Van Taylor. “Behind the leadership of Governor Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Patrick the Senate honored this sacred compact and passed for them the most significant ethics reform package in a generation.”
SB 19 brings additional transparency and disclosure requirements for state ethics reports. Each state officer, elected official or candidate will be required to include the disclosure of written contracts for goods or services with government entities, professional consulting or legal service over a certain amount.
It also curtails potential conflicts of interest by prohibiting a retired member of the legislature from lobbying for one, two-year legislative cycle following their retirement. This bill bars a member of the Texas Legislature, United States Congress or statewide office from registering as a lobbyist.
“Senator Van Taylor has done an outstanding job in the Texas Senate by helping eliminate conflicts of interest that could tarnish our government’s image, hurt the public’s trust and threaten our democracy,” continued Patrick. “Governor Abbott and I have made ethics legislation (SB 19) a top priority because Texans deserve a transparent government.”