Just over three months after Gov. Greg Abbott challenged lawmakers to “dedicate this session to ethics,” lawmakers may be within reach of crafting the most comprehensive set of ethics reforms in a generation.
But as legislators move through the final full week before their June 1 adjournment, they still face steep differences between competing ethics bills in the House and Senate, including a showdown over efforts to require the reporting of now-undisclosed “dark money” contributions by politically active nonprofits such as Empower Texans.
“This will be one of the cliff-hanger bills of the session,” said Tom “Smitty” Smith, Texas director of Public Citizen, one of nearly a dozen organizations in a coalition that has pressed for ethics reforms in response to Abbott’s declaration to lawmakers in his State of the State Address in mid-February.
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