Senate Bill 19 Filed this Morning with the Full Backing of Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick
AUSTIN, TX – With ethics reform slated as one of Governor Greg Abbott's emergency items, Senator Van Taylor filed SB 19, the Ethics Reform and Anti-Corruption Act. Taylor filed this legislation in close consultation with, and with the full backing of, Governor Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.
"I want to applaud Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick for their support and leadership on ethics reform," stated Taylor. "There is no more valuable bond in democracy than the trust the people have with the their government. The commonsense ethics reforms outlined in Senate Bill 19 will strengthen that bond and send a clear message to the people of Texas that there is no place in government for those who betray the trust given to them by the voters."
In his State of the State Address, Governor Greg Abbott declared ethics reform an emergency item stating, "Let’s dedicate this session to ethics," and adding, "The most important commodity we have as elected officials is the bond we share with our constituents. Transparency – and rising above even the appearance of impropriety – will strengthen that bond. Rejection of ethics reform will weaken that bond and rightfully raise suspicions about who we truly serve – ourselves, or the people of Texas."
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick added, "Over the past several years the legislature has moved to add more transparency in government. SB 19 is another important step toward that goal. I applaud Senator Taylor for this important ethics reform legislation."
Senator Taylor has also filed several individual bills relating to ethics reform and he will still be actively working that legislation. The ethics reform package filed this morning will center on three critical areas and serve as a vehicle to advance ethics reform solutions in the Senate.
The three sections of SB 19 are:
• Revokes tax-payer funded pensions from elected officials who are convicted of felony offenses related to their performance of public service.
Transparency & Disclosure:
• Requires elected officials and state officers to disclose contracts for goods and/or services with governmental entities.
Terminating Conflicts of Interest:
• Prohibits elected officers, including legislators, from registering as lobbyists.
• Prohibits former members of the legislature and former statewide elected officials from lobbying for a period of one full legislative session.
• Prohibits legislators and statewide elected officials who are licensed lawyers from earning a referral fee.
• Prohibits legislators from serving as bond counsel for state and local government.
Throughout his tenure in the Texas Legislature, Van Taylor has been an outspoken champion for eliminating corruption in state government. This ethics reform package represents the best opportunity for meaningful ethics reform in Texas in a generation.
A seventh generation Texan, local small businessman, and decorated Marine Officer, Van Taylor serves the majority of Collin County and a portion of Dallas County in the Texas Senate where he is widely recognized as a conservative leader. Taylor was named Vice-Chairman of the Nominations Committee and also appointed to serve on the Education, Health and Human Services, and Transportation Committees. Van and his wife, Anne, married after his return from Iraq and are the proud parents of three young girls. Van and his family reside in Plano near the land his great-grandfather farmed during the Great Depression.