AUSTIN - A group of bipartisan Texas Representatives came together Wednesday, calling on Governor Greg Abbott (R) to add ethics reform to the Special Session call.
The representatives make up the House Committee on General Investigating and Ethics, which is chaired by Representative Sarah Davis (R-West University Place). Representative Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio), who authored several ethics reform bills, also joined his colleagues in issuing the call.
Representative Davis filed five bills Wednesday, House Bills 15-19, that she believes will increase transparency, including a bill to ban lawmakers from getting campaign contributions during a special session.
Representative Larson also re-filed his bill to end "pay for play".
"We should reform the most egregious ethics violation we've got in this state and that's where people have to pay large sums of money to get appointed coveted seats, highly coveted seats like Board of Regents, Parks and Wildlife boards," Larson said.
Davis' committee plans to hold public hearings on several of the ethics bills Thursday. Some of the bills were voted out of the House during the regular session but died in the Senate.
Governor Abbott made ethics reform an emergency item during the last two regular session but it seems unlikely the request of these lawmakers will be met.
The Governor's Press Secretary John Wittman gave KVUE News the following statement on the request:
"Instead of working to advance items on the special session agenda that could reform property taxes, fix school finance, increase teacher pay and reduce regulations, Reps. Davis and Larson are showboating over proposals that are not on the Governor's call. Their constituents deserve better."
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