FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/27/2015
REP. MEYER AMENDS ETHICS BILL TO PROTECT RIGHT TO RECORD CONVERSATIONS IN THE CAPITOL
Amendment to SB 19 applies to anyone being recorded in the Capitol, not just legislators.
AUSTIN, Texas— Today, the Texas House of Representatives passed an amendment by Representative Morgan Meyer of Dallas to protect the right of citizens to record conversations in the Capitol.
SB 19 is a major ethics reform bill which was declared an emergency item by Governor Abbott. Rep. Meyer's amendment eliminated provisions of SB 19 that were aimed at preventing the recording of a legislator's conversations in the Capitol.
Instead, under Rep. Meyer’s amendment, anyone can record a conversation in the Capitol the same as they can anywhere else in Texas. The only difference is that everyone in the Capitol, including public citizens, has the right to ask if they are being recorded. When asked, if the person fails to disclose that they are recording or lies about it they are subject to a civil penalty. However, the requirement to disclose the act of recording does not prohibit further recording.
“My amendment treats members of the legislature the same as everyone else in the building, and protects people’s right to record conversations in the Capitol” said Rep. Meyer. “As I stated on the House Floor today, we need to play by the same rules as everyone else in the state. Everyone in the Capitol is treated equally under this amendment. This overwhelmingly passed the House because we believe this bill should not make legislators a protected class.”
SB 19 received final passage from the House and heads to the Senate.
CONTACT: Matt Creel