Bill Text: TX HB1877 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the ethics of public servants, including regulations relating to certain contributions, expenditures, and reports, and certain authority and duties of the Texas Ethics Commission; creating a criminal offense.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-20 - Left pending in committee [HB1877 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB1877-Introduced.html
  86R8693 JG-D
 
  By: Davis of Harris H.B. No. 1877
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the ethics of public servants, including regulations
  relating to certain contributions, expenditures, and reports, and
  certain authority and duties of the Texas Ethics Commission;
  creating a criminal offense.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 251.005(d), Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (d)  An out-of-state political committee that does not file a
  campaign treasurer appointment shall comply with Sections
  [Section] 254.1581, 254.161, and 254.261.
         SECTION 2.  Subchapter A, Chapter 253, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 253.006 to read as follows:
         Sec. 253.006.  UNLAWFUL USE OF PUBLIC FUNDS FOR
  CONTRIBUTIONS OR EXPENDITURES. (a) An officer or employee of a
  political subdivision may not spend or authorize the spending of
  public funds to make a political contribution or a political
  expenditure.
         (b)  An officer or employee of a political subdivision may
  not directly or indirectly employ a person to use public funds to
  make an unlawful political contribution or political expenditure.
         (c)  A person who violates Subsection (a) or (b) commits an
  offense. An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor. 
         SECTION 3.  Subchapter D, Chapter 253, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 253.105 to read as follows:
         Sec. 253.105.  CONTRIBUTIONS TO DIRECT EXPENDITURE ONLY
  COMMITTEES. A corporation or labor organization may make a
  political contribution from its own property to a political
  committee that:
               (1)  is not established or controlled by a candidate or
  an officeholder;
               (2)  makes or intends to make direct campaign
  expenditures;
               (3)  does not make or intend to make political
  contributions to:
                     (A)  a candidate;
                     (B)  an officeholder;
                     (C)  a specific-purpose committee established or
  controlled by a candidate or an officeholder; or
                     (D)  a political committee that makes or intends
  to make political contributions to a candidate, an officeholder, or
  a specific-purpose committee established or controlled by a
  candidate or an officeholder; and
               (4)  has filed an affidavit with the commission stating
  the committee's intention to operate as described by Subdivisions
  (2) and (3).
         SECTION 4.  Section 254.161, Election Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 254.161.  NOTICE TO CANDIDATE AND OFFICEHOLDER OF
  CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES. If a general-purpose committee
  other than the principal political committee of a political party
  or a political committee established by a political party's county
  executive committee accepts political contributions or makes
  political expenditures for a candidate or officeholder, notice of
  that fact shall be given to the affected candidate or officeholder
  as provided by Section 254.128 for a specific-purpose committee.
  An out-of-state political committee that is required to comply with
  this section shall designate an officer of the committee to provide
  the notice.
         SECTION 5.  Section 254.261, Election Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (e) to read as follows:
         (e)  This section applies to an out-of-state political
  committee that does not file a campaign treasurer appointment. 
         SECTION 6.  Section 302.021(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  A speaker candidate or former speaker candidate commits
  an offense if the person:
               (1)  knowingly fails to file the declaration of
  candidacy required by Section 302.0121;
               (2)  knowingly fails to file the statement required by
  Section 302.013;
               (3)  knowingly accepts a contribution, loan, or promise
  of a contribution or loan in violation of Section 302.0121(c);
               (4)  [knowingly accepts a contribution, loan, or
  promise of a contribution or loan prohibited by Section 302.017
  from a corporation, partnership, association, firm, union,
  foundation, committee, club, or other organization or group of
  persons;
               [(5)]  knowingly accepts a contribution from a person
  who uses political contributions, interest earned on political
  contributions, or an asset purchased with political contributions
  to make the contribution in violation of Section 302.0191;
               (5) [(6)]  expends campaign funds for any purpose other
  than those enumerated in Section 302.020;
               (6) [(7)]  knowingly retains contributions, assets
  purchased with contributions, or interest or other income earned on
  contributions in violation of Section 302.0201(b); or
               (7) [(8)]  knowingly fails to file the report of
  unexpended campaign funds as required by Section 302.0201(d).
         SECTION 7.  Subchapter B, Chapter 571, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 571.033 to read as follows:
         Sec. 571.033.  NOTIFICATION PROCEDURES. (a) Except as
  provided by Subsection (b), the commission may adopt rules
  prescribing how the commission will notify any person or provide
  any notice required by this subtitle, Chapter 305 of this code, or
  Title 15, Election Code.
         (b)  Subsection (a) does not authorize the commission to
  adopt rules prescribing how the commission will notify any person
  or provide any notice required by Subchapter E or F of this chapter
  or how the commission will issue a warning of liability under
  Section 254.042(b), Election Code.
         SECTION 8.  Section 571.071, Government Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (c) and adding Subsection (d) to read as
  follows:
         (c)  The commission may provide a seminar for persons
  required to register under Chapter 305 that addresses issues
  involving lobbying, political contributions and expenditures, and
  other issues as determined by the commission. The commission may
  charge a fee for attending the seminar in an amount necessary to
  cover the costs associated with the seminar, including the cost of
  providing food or nonalcoholic beverages to attendees.
         (d)  The commission may provide a seminar that addresses the
  laws administered and enforced by the commission and any other
  relevant laws, as determined by the commission.  The commission may
  charge a fee for attending the seminar in an amount necessary to
  cover the costs associated with the seminar, including the cost of
  providing food or nonalcoholic beverages to attendees.
         SECTION 9.  Section 572.023(b), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (b)  The account of financial activity consists of:
               (1)  a list of all sources of occupational income,
  identified by employer, or if self-employed, by the nature of the
  occupation, including identification of a person or other
  organization from which the individual or a business in which the
  individual has a substantial interest received a fee as a retainer
  for a claim on future services in case of need, as distinguished
  from a fee for services on a matter specified at the time of
  contracting for or receiving the fee, if professional or
  occupational services are not actually performed during the
  reporting period equal to or in excess of the amount of the
  retainer, and the category of the amount of the fee;
               (2)  identification by name and the category of the
  greatest number of shares of stock of any nonpublicly traded
  business entity held or acquired, and if sold, the category of the
  amount of net gain or loss realized from the sale;
               (2-a) identification by stock symbol and the category
  of the number of shares of stock of any publicly traded corporation
  held;
               (3)  a list of all bonds, notes, and other commercial
  paper held or acquired, and if sold, the category of the amount of
  net gain or loss realized from the sale;
               (4)  identification of each source and the category of
  the amount of income in excess of $500 derived from each source from
  interest, dividends, royalties, and rents;
               (5)  identification of each guarantor of a loan and
  identification of each person or financial institution to whom a
  personal note or notes or lease agreement for a total financial
  liability in excess of $1,000 existed at any time during the year
  and the category of the amount of the liability;
               (6)  identification by description of all beneficial
  interests in real property and business entities held or acquired,
  and if sold, the category of the amount of the net gain or loss
  realized from the sale;
               (7)  identification of a person or other organization
  from which the individual or the individual's spouse or dependent
  children received a gift of anything of value in excess of $250 and
  a description of each gift, except:
                     (A)  a gift received from an individual related to
  the individual at any time within the second degree by
  consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Subchapter B,
  Chapter 573;
                     (B)  a political contribution that was reported as
  required by Chapter 254, Election Code; and
                     (C)  an expenditure required to be reported by a
  person required to be registered under Chapter 305;
               (8)  identification of the source and the category of
  the amount of all income received as beneficiary of a trust, other
  than a blind trust that complies with Subsection (c), and
  identification of each trust asset, if known to the beneficiary,
  from which income was received by the beneficiary in excess of $500;
               (9)  identification:
                     (A)  by description of a corporation, firm,
  partnership, limited partnership, limited liability partnership,
  professional corporation, professional association, joint venture,
  or other business association in which five percent or more of the
  outstanding ownership was held, acquired, or sold; and
                     (B)  by description and the category of the amount
  of all assets and liabilities of a corporation, firm, partnership,
  limited partnership, limited liability partnership, professional
  corporation, professional association, joint venture, or other
  business association in which 50 percent or more of the outstanding
  ownership was held, acquired, or sold;
               (10)  a list of all boards of directors of which the
  individual is a member and executive positions that the individual
  holds in corporations, firms, partnerships, limited partnerships,
  limited liability partnerships, professional corporations,
  professional associations, joint ventures, or other business
  associations or proprietorships, stating the name of each
  corporation, firm, partnership, limited partnership, limited
  liability partnership, professional corporation, professional
  association, joint venture, or other business association or
  proprietorship and the position held;
               (11)  identification of any person providing
  transportation, meals, or lodging expenses permitted under Section
  36.07(b), Penal Code, and the amount of those expenses, other than
  expenditures required to be reported under Chapter 305;
               (12)  any corporation, firm, partnership, limited
  partnership, limited liability partnership, professional
  corporation, professional association, joint venture, or other
  business association, excluding a publicly held corporation, in
  which both the individual and a person registered under Chapter 305
  have an interest;
               (13)  identification by name and the category of the
  number of shares of any mutual fund held or acquired, and if sold,
  the category of the amount of net gain or loss realized from the
  sale;
               (14)  identification of each blind trust that complies
  with Subsection (c), including:
                     (A)  the category of the fair market value of the
  trust;
                     (B)  the date the trust was created;
                     (C)  the name and address of the trustee; and
                     (D)  a statement signed by the trustee, under
  penalty of perjury, stating that:
                           (i)  the trustee has not revealed any
  information to the individual, except information that may be
  disclosed under Subdivision (8); and
                           (ii)  to the best of the trustee's knowledge,
  the trust complies with this section;
               (15)  if the aggregate cost of goods or services sold
  under one or more written contracts described by this subdivision
  exceeds $10,000 in the year covered by the report, identification
  of each written contract, including the name of each party to the
  contract:
                     (A)  for the sale of goods or services in the
  amount of $2,500 or more;
                     (B)  to which the individual, the individual's
  spouse, the individual's dependent child, or any business entity of
  which the individual, the individual's spouse, or the individual's
  dependent child, independently or in conjunction with one or more
  persons described by this subsection, has at least a 50 percent
  ownership interest is a party; and
                     (C)  with:
                           (i)  a governmental entity; or
                           (ii)  a person who contracts with a
  governmental entity, if the individual or entity described by
  Paragraph (B) performs work arising out of the contract,
  subcontract, or agreement between the person and the governmental
  entity for a fee; and
               (16)  if the individual is a member of the legislature
  and provides bond counsel services to an issuer, as defined by
  Section 1201.002(1), identification of the following for each
  issuance for which the individual served as bond counsel:
                     (A)  the amount of the issuance;
                     (B)  the name of the issuer;
                     (C)  the date of the issuance;
                     (D)  the amount of fees paid to the individual,
  and whether the amount is:
                           (i)  less than $5,000;
                           (ii)  at least $5,000 but less than $10,000;
                           (iii)  at least $10,000 but less than
  $25,000; or
                           (iv)  $25,000 or more; and
                     (E)  the amount of fees paid to the individual's
  firm, if applicable, and whether the amount is:
                           (i)  less than $5,000;
                           (ii)  at least $5,000 but less than $10,000;
                           (iii)  at least $10,000 but less than
  $25,000; or
                           (iv)  $25,000 or more.
         SECTION 10.  Subchapter B, Chapter 572, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 572.0292 to read as follows:
         Sec. 572.0292.  RECORDKEEPING REQUIRED. (a) Each
  individual who files with the commission a financial statement
  required by this subchapter shall maintain a record of the
  information that is necessary for filing the financial statement.
         (b)  An individual required to maintain a record under this
  section shall preserve the record for at least three years
  beginning on the filing deadline for the financial statement
  containing the information in the record.
         SECTION 11.  The heading to Section 572.030, Government
  Code, is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 572.030.  PREPARATION [AND MAILING] OF FORMS; NOTICE OF
  FILING REQUIREMENTS.
         SECTION 12.  Sections 572.030(b), (c), and (d), Government
  Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (b)  The commission shall notify [mail to] each individual
  required to file under this subchapter of [a notice that]:
               (1)  the requirement [states] that the individual [is
  required to] file a financial statement under this subchapter;
               (2)  [identifies] the filing dates for the financial
  statement as provided by Sections 572.026 and 572.027; and
               (3)  [describes] the manner in which the individual may
  electronically file the financial statement and access
  instructions for filing financial statements on [obtain the
  financial statement forms and instructions from] the commission's
  Internet website[;
               [(4)     states that on request of the individual, the
  commission will mail to the individual a copy of the financial
  statement forms and instructions; and
               [(5)     states, if applicable, the fee for mailing the
  forms and instructions and the manner in which the individual may
  pay the fee].
         (c)  Except as provided by commission rule, the notification 
  [The notice] required by Subsection (b) must be provided [mailed]:
               (1)  before the 30th day before the deadline for filing
  the financial statement under Section 572.026(a) or (c), except as
  otherwise provided by this subsection;
               (2)  not later than the 15th day after the applicable
  deadline for filing an application for a place on the ballot or a
  declaration of write-in candidacy for candidates required to file
  under Section 572.027(a), (b), or (c);
               (3)  not later than the seventh day after the date of
  appointment for individuals required to file under Section
  572.026(b), or if the legislature is in session, sooner if
  possible; and
               (4)  not later than the fifth day after the date the
  certificate of nomination is filed for candidates required to file
  under Section 572.027(d) [574.027(d)].
         (d)  Except as provided by commission rule, the [The]
  commission shall mail a copy of the financial statement forms and
  instructions to an individual not later than the third business day
  after the date the commission receives the individual's request for
  the forms and instructions.
         SECTION 13.  Section 572.032, Government Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (d) to read as
  follows:
         (a)  Financial statements filed under this subchapter are
  public records. The commission shall maintain the statements in
  separate alphabetical files and in a manner that is accessible to
  the public during regular office hours and make the statements
  available to the public on the commission's Internet website not
  later than the 15th day after the date the statement is required to
  be filed or is actually filed, whichever is later.
         (d)  The commission is not required to continue to make
  available on its Internet website a financial statement that may be
  destroyed under Subsection (c). The commission may not make
  available on its Internet website a financial statement that the
  commission is required to destroy under Subsection (c).
         SECTION 14.  Section 572.032(a-1), Government Code, as
  amended by Chapters 34 (S.B. 1576) and 983 (H.B. 776), Acts of the
  85th Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, is reenacted and amended
  to read as follows:
         (a-1)  The commission shall remove the home address, the
  telephone number, and the names of the dependent children of an
  individual from a financial statement filed by the individual under
  this subchapter before:
               (1)  permitting a member of the public to view the
  statement;
               (2)  providing a copy of the statement to a member of
  the public; or
               (3)  making the statement available to the public on
  the commission's Internet website[, if the commission makes
  statements filed under this subchapter available on its website].
         SECTION 15.  The following laws are repealed:
               (1)  Section 253.037, Election Code; and
               (2)  Sections 302.017, 302.019, and 572.032(b),
  Government Code.
         SECTION 16.  Section 253.006, Election Code, as added by
  this Act, applies only to a political contribution or a political
  expenditure made on or after the effective date of this Act.
         SECTION 17.  The changes in law made by this Act apply only
  to a political contribution made on or after the effective date of
  this Act.  A political contribution made before the effective date
  of this Act is governed by the law in effect on the date the
  contribution was made, and the former law is continued in effect for
  that purpose.
         SECTION 18.  The changes in law made by this Act to Chapter
  572, Government Code, apply only to a financial statement due on or
  after the effective date of this Act. A financial statement due
  before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in
  effect on the date the financial statement was due, and the former
  law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 19.  This Act takes effect immediately if it
  receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each
  house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.
  If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate
  effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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