Rep. Davis effort stymied by Gov. Abbott
One of Texas State Representative Sarah Davis of West University Place’s pet concerns is ethics reform. But the special session will come to a close marking Gov. Greg Abbott’s refusal to add a the tightening of Texas’ lax ethics laws to be considered in the special session that will end on August 17.
When Davis held a press conference earlier this month urging the governor to add ethics reform to his special session agenda, governor’s office spokesman John Wittman accused Davis of showboating.
That irked government watchdogs who support the ethics reform efforts of Davis.
Davis’ HB 15, would slow the “revolving door” in which lawmakers become lobbyists by requiring a “cooling off” period of one session. This aids the ethical conundrum in which some legislators find themselves by moving quickly from the legislature to lobbying their former colleagues in a new highly paid role with special-interest groups.
Davis is also pushing legislation that would prohibit direct political contributions to lawmakers and members of the executive branch during all legislative sessions. Such donations are now banned during regular sessions, but not special sessions.
The House Committee on General Investigating and Ethics, which Davis chairs, unanimously passed the ethics reforms of both Davis and Larson, sending those bills to the full House.
But Abbott would have had to add that legislation to the agenda of the special session for the bills to have a chance to become law, and Abbott did not do that.