FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/10/2013
Flynn Passes Sweeping Transparency Legislation
AUSTIN - Today, the Texas House of Representatives passed some of the most sweeping transparency legislation in the history of the State of Texas, authored by State Representative Dan Flynn (Van).
"All too often, transparency is a second thought for our government. The people are entitled to more than a second thought. They are entitled to full transparency in how our state operates," stated Chairman Dan Flynn.
The Texas House approved House Bills 12 and 16, each providing several key measures aimed at improving transparency in Texas. HB12 mandates each state agency publish its methodology for determining salary supplements as well as each and every gift, and its respective value, online. HB 16 will ensure that all audits, including internal and operational audits, be placed online for the public as well.
Both pieces of legislation were presented to the Committee on Transparency, co-chaired by Representative Dan Flynn and Representative Carol Alvarado, that spanned each side of the aisle, pulling together some of the most passionate in the House. As the bills passed out of committee unanimously, the legislation proved to be a symbol of recognition and understanding that transparency, in every sense of the word, has become a necessary component of state agency operations.
As the final day for passage of House legislation moved into the late hours of the evening, the bipartisan group of legislators took the front mic to present these bills that they crafted together. On a night where partisan arguments delayed the progression of the final calendar, and each piece of legislation was subject to multiple questions varying in the level of relevance, HB12 and HB16 represented the kind of teamwork, compromise and preparation that one would assume each bill was accompanied by. No questions from other members, and with multiple amendments accepted by Representative Flynn, the bills came up and were passed by the House in record time.
"Transparency within the practice and operations of Texas agencies and institutions should be the norm, not the surprising exception. These important measures move us toward that goal, a more transparent Texas. We can make government more open so that taxpayers know exactly how the state is operating and utilizing our tax money," concluded Representative Flynn.
The measures now goes to the Texas Senate for hearings and final passage to the Governor.