FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 08/22/2014
SPEAKER STRAUS APPOINTS MEMBERS TO LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL AND ETHICS COMMITTEE
AUSTIN – Texas House Speaker Joe Straus today made appointments to the Texas Legislative Council and the Select Interim Committee to Study Ethics Laws.
Speaker Straus named the following Members to serve on Legislative Council: Reps. Dwayne Bohac of Houston, Travis Clardy of Nacogdoches, Helen Giddings of Dallas, Larry Phillips of Sherman and Senfronia Thompson of Houston. As Chairman of the House Committee on Administration, Representative Charlie Geren of Fort Worth will continue in his ex-officio role on the Council.
The Council provides a range of services to the Legislature and related agencies, such as bill-drafting, research, publishing, document distribution and technological assistance. The Council consists of the Speaker, the Lieutenant Governor, six Members of the House and six Members of the Texas Senate.
“The House relies heavily on Legislative Council every day,” said Speaker Straus, San Antonio. “These legislators will provide strong leadership for an agency that plays a very important role in the legislative process.”
Rep. Sarah Davis of Houston will co-chair the Select Interim Committee to Study Ethics Laws. Speaker Straus also appointed Reps. Reps. Ken King of Canadian and Poncho Nevárez of Eagle Pass to the committee, as well as Austin attorney Ross Fischer. Fischer is Chairman of the Legislative and Campaign Law Section of the State Bar of Texas and is a former Chairman of the Texas Ethics Commission.
The committee was created last year by the passage of Senate Bill 1773. Its purpose is to review laws and regulations related to ethics, such as those focused on campaign finance, lobbying and personal finance disclosures. The other four members of the committee, including the other co-chair, are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor.
“Sound ethics laws can help build and maintain public confidence in government,” Speaker Straus said. “I trust the members of this committee to give those laws a thorough review and recommend ways to make our system more transparent and accountable to citizens.”