State Reps Urge Abbott to Add Ethics Reform to Special Session

By Bill O’Neil

One more order of business.

The word from a group of State Representatives, urging Governor Greg Abbott to add a little more work to be completed during the current special session of the Texas Legislature.

“We are asking for one thing, and that is for Governor Abbott to add ethics reform to the official proclamation of the special session” said State Representative Sarah Davis, who chairs the Texas House’s General Investigating and Ethics Committee.

Davis has filed a number of bills aimed at ethics reform–including one which would create a ban on campaign donations during a special session of the Texas Legislature.

San Antonio State Representative Lyle Larson has a bill of his own, which calls for an end to the practice of “pay for play” when it comes to appointments to various state boards.

“The Board of Regents at A&M (Texas A&M University) you’re going to have to spend between $200,000 and $300,000. The Board of Regents at UT (University of Texas), between $300,000 and $400,000 on average” Larson said, adding “People are astonished that still is part of the political makeup in Austin, Texas.”

Larson said it’s an ongoing practice that needs to be brought to an end.

“We’ve seen Governor Richards, Governor Bush, Governor Perry… and now Governor Abbott. They’ve been using this as a vehicle to raise large sums of money for their campaigns and I just don’t believe it’s right” Larson said.

Davis believes the “drain the swamp” mantra surrounding Washington politics both makes the time right and sets the stage for such reforms to take place in Austin.

“In fact, as many of us know, the Governor thought ethics were so important, he made them emergency items each session he has served as Governor” Davis said.

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