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Limitations on Gifts to State Agencies - S.B. 145

by Senator Nixon

House Sponsors: Representatives Christian and Hunter

_ Provides a uniform policy for the acceptance of gifts given to state agencies having the authority to accept gifts.

§ Authorizes the governing board of a state agency to accept a gift only if a majority of the board, in an open meeting, agree to accept the gift. Requires acceptance of the gift to be appropriately recorded.

§ Prohibits the state agency from accepting gifts from parties in contested cases before the agency until 30 days after a final decision in the case.

§ Clarifies that the Office of the Governor, rather than the governor himself or herself, accepts gifts on behalf of the state. Authorizes the governor to solicit as well as accept gifts.


Preservation of Public Records - S.B. 436

by Senator Lucio

House Sponsor: Representative Ron Lewis

§ Allows the county clerk to set and collect a records archive fee of not more than $10 from any person who presents a public document to the county clerk for recording or filing.

§ Requires the fee to be placed in a separate account in the county general fund and utilized by the county clerk only to preserve and restore the public records and archives.

§ Prohibits the county clerk from collecting fees after the county records archive preservation and restoration is complete.


Administrative Lobbying - S.B. 1333

by Senator Ellis

House Sponsor: Representative Hunter

§ Requires state agencies to file reports containing information on persons representing other persons for compensation before a state agency to the Texas Ethics Commission, instead of the Secretary of State.


Gift Acceptance by the Secretary of State - S.B. 1903

by Senator Truan

House Sponsor: Representative Hunter

§ Authorizes the secretary of state to accept certain gifts, grants, and donations related to the office of the secretary of state on behalf of the state.


Releasing of Information Relating to Motor Vehicle Accident - H.B. 399

by Representative Goodman, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Ratliff

§ Provides that information that is held by the Department of Public Safety DPS or another governmental entity and that relates to a motor vehicle accident is privileged and for the confidential use of DPS and an agency of the United States, this state, or a local government of this state that has use for the information for accident prevention purposes.

§ Requires DPS or another governmental entity to release the information to governmental entities, law enforcement agencies, and courts on written request and payment of any required fee.

§ Requires DPS or other governmental entity to request information on a written form adopted by DPS or governmental entity to determine whether the person or entity requesting the information is entitled to receive the information.


HUB Certification - H.B. 625

by Representative Hernandez

Senate Sponsor: Senator Madla

§ Exempts information submitted in an application for certification as a historically underutilized or disadvantaged business from disclosure and public information laws.


Open Records Information - H.B. 951

by Representative Turner

Senate Sponsor: Senator Wentworth

§ Clarifies the open records statute to ensure that persons requesting copies of public information are charged only for the cost of the copies.


Lottery & Bingo Records Subject to Open Records Act - H.B. 2768

by Representative Goolsby

Senate Sponsor: Senator Carona

§ Provides that all Lottery Commission records regarding lottery and bingo are subject to public inspection in accordance with the Open Records Act.

§ Lottery information regarding the selection of winning tickets, the street address and telephone number of a prize winner, if the prize winner has not consented to the release of the information, and operational security plans remain confidential and are exempt from disclosure.


Candidate and Officeholder Activity Reports - H.B. 3207

by: Representative Wolens

Senate Sponsor: Senator Armbrister

§ Outlines provisions and provides a civil penalty regarding the regulation of political contributions and expenditures and political advertising, the registration of lobbyists, personal financial disclosure by certain holders of and candidates for public office, restrictions on certain representation before a state agency by a member of the legislature, and the publication of summaries of opinions of the Texas Ethics Commission.

§ Requires a campaign treasurer appointment by a candidate to include the candidate's telephone number and a statement that the candidate is aware of the nepotism law, Chapter 573, Government Code.

§ Provides that a report filed under this chapter is considered to be under oath by the person required to file the report, regardless of the absence of or defect in the affidavit of verification, including a signature.

§ Provides that a person required to file a report under this chapter is subject to prosecution under Chapter 37, Penal Code, regardless of the absence of or defect in the affidavit of verification.

§ Sets forth requirements and provisions regarding the preservation of reports and a record of inspection.

§ Requires a notice to be written on each political advertising sign.

§ Provides that if the deadline under which a candidate files an application for a place on the ballot falls after the 35th day before the date of the election in which the candidate is running, the candidate shall file the statement not later than the 5th day before the date of that election.

§ Provides that a member of the legislature may not, for compensation, represent another person before a state agency in the executive branch of state government unless the member discloses to the agency that the member is being compensated for the representation.

§ Provides that a county or district officer or candidate commits an offense if the officer or candidate knowingly fails to file a statement as required by this subchapter.

§ Authorizes the commissioner's court of a county with a population of less than 125,000 to adopt, by order, a financial disclosure reporting system for the county auditor.


Prohibitions on Gifts to and Certain Future Employment of Lottery Employees - H.B. 3370

by Representative Junell

Senate Sponsor: Senator Armbrister

§ Prohibits a current or former (before the second anniversary of the date that the person's service ceased), Texas Lottery Commission member, executive director, or employee of the commission from intentionally or knowingly accepting a gift or political contribution from interested parties.

§ Makes presenting a gift or making a political contribution to a person known by the actor to be a current or former commission member, executive director, or employee of the commission, if the actor is a person listed above a Class A misdemeanor.

§ Makes it a Class A misdemeanor for a former commission member, former executive director, or former director to:

§ represent a person, for compensation, that has made or intends to make a bid to operate the lottery before the second anniversary of the date that the person's service with the commission ceases;

§ represent any person or receiving compensation for services rendered on behalf of any person regarding a particular matter in which the former officer or employee participated during the period of service or employment with the commission; or

§ communicate, for compensation, directly with a member of the legislative branch to influence legislation on behalf of a person that has a significant financial interest in the lottery, before the second anniversary of the date that the person's service with the commission ceases.


Bank Accounts of Candidates for Public Office - H.B. 3569

by Representatives Madden and Naishtat

Senate Sponsor: Senator Shapiro

§ Gives a candidate for public office access to information regarding all financial transactions involved in the candidate's campaign.

§ Prohibits a financial institution from opening an account in the name of a candidate for public office without obtaining that candidate's consent and signature.