ADOPTED RULES

At its March 28, 2018 meeting, the Texas Ethics Commission voted to adopt the following new or amended rules: §§ 6.1, 12.36, 12.87, 20.5 20.33, 27.1, 27.101 and the repeal of Ethics Commission Rules § 18.27. The text of the new and amended rules is located below.

§ 6.1. Definitions.
(effective May 3, 2018)
Text of Adopted Rule

§ 12.36.  Assessment of Civil Penalty.
(effective May 3, 2018)
Text of Adopted Rule

§ 12.87.  Resolution of Preliminary Review Hearing.
(effective May 3, 2018)
Text of Adopted Rule

§ 18.27. Sworn Complaints.
(effective May 3, 2018)
Text of Repealed Rule

§ 20.5. Reports Filed with a County Filing Authority.
(effective May 3, 2018)
Text of Adopted Rule

§ 20.33. Termination of Campaign Treasurer Appointment by Commission.
(effective May 3, 2018)
Text of Adopted Rule

§ 27.1. Applicability.
(effective May 3, 2018)
Text of Adopted Rule

§ 27.101. When a Declaration of Compliance or Declaration of Intent Is Required.
(effective May 3, 2018)
Text of Adopted Rule


§ 6.1.  Notice.
(effective May 3, 2018)
Text of Adopted Rule

The new language is indicated by underlined text.

Chapter 6. ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION
Subchapter A. General Rules

§ 6.1. Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this part, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

(1) Act--The Government Code, Chapter 571 (concerning Texas Ethics Commission).

(2) Administrative Procedure Act--The Government Code, Chapter 2001 (concerning Administrative Procedure).

(3) Agency--The state agency governed by the commission, as it functions and operates through the administrative staff hired by the commission and its executive director.

(4) Commission--The Texas Ethics Commission, as constituted and described in the Texas Constitution, Article 3, § 24a.

(5) Document--A report, complaint, response, letter, or any other written material.

(6) Executive director--The person employed by the commission to serve as the agency’s chief administrative officer, or any other employee of the commission acting as the designee of the executive director.

(7) Family member or relative--An individual who is related within the second degree of affinity or consanguinity, as defined by the Government Code, Chapter 573, Subchapter B (concerning Relationships by Consanguinity or by Affinity).

(8) Filer--A person required to file a report with the commission or a local filing authority in accordance with this title.

(9) Individual--A human being who has been born and is alive.

(10) Local filing authority--A public servant other than the Texas Ethics Commission with whom a filer must file a report in accordance with this title, as identified in §20.5 of this title (relating to Reports Filed with a County Filing Authority) and §20.7 of this title (relating to Reports Filed with Other Local Filing Authority).

(11) Open Meetings Law--The Government Code, Chapter 551 (concerning Open Meetings).

(12) Open Records Law--The Government Code, Chapter 552 (concerning Open Records).

(13) Person--An individual, representative, corporation, association, or other entity, including any nonprofit corporation, or any agency or instrumentality of federal, state, or local government.

(14) Postmark--A postal cancellation by the United States Postal Service that contains the post office name, state, and zip code and the month, day, and year the canceling post office accepted custody of the material.

(15) Presiding officer--The person elected to serve as the commission’s chairman or chairwoman under §6.21 of this title (relating to Officers of the Commission).

(16) Report--Any document or other information required to be filed under this title.

(17) Staff--Employees of the commission, hired by the commission or the executive director.

(18) Title 15--The Election Code, Title 15 (concerning Regulating Political Funds and Campaigns).

(19) First responder--An individual who is:

(A) a peace officer whose duties include responding rapidly to an emergency;

(B) fire protection personnel, as that term is defined by Section 419.021, Government Code;

(C) a volunteer firefighter who performs firefighting duties on behalf of a political subdivision;

(D) an ambulance driver; or

(E) an individual certified as emergency medical services personnel by the Department of State Health Services.

(20) Judicial office--The office of:

(A) chief justice or justice, supreme court;

(B) presiding judge or judge, court of criminal appeals;

(C) chief justice or justice, court of appeals;

(D) district judge;

(E) judge, statutory county court; or

(F) judge, statutory probate court.

(21) Non-judicial office--An elective public office and the secretary of state, but not including an office described by paragraph (20) of this section.


§ 12.36. Assessment of Civil Penalty.
(effective May 3, 2018)
Text of Adopted Rule

The new language is indicated by underlined text.

Chapter 12. SWORN COMPLAINTS
Subchapter A. General Provisions and Procedures

§ 12.36. Assessment of Civil Penalty.

(a) The commission shall consider the factors listed in §571.177 of the Government Code when assessing a civil penalty against a respondent, including whether the respondent timely responds to written questions or subpoenas.

(b) The commission may consider the fine amounts established by chapter 18 of this title in determining the amount of a fine to be assessed in a sworn complaint proceeding.

(c) The commission may consider a late or corrected report or corrective action to be a mitigating factor in determining the amount of a fine, if any.


§ 12.87. Resolution of Preliminary Review Hearing.
(effective May 3, 2018)
Text of Adopted Rule

The new language is indicated by underlined text.
The deleted text is indicated by [strikethrough] text.

Chapter 12. SWORN COMPLAINTS
Subchapter C. Resolution of Preliminary Review Hearing

§ 12.87. Resolution of Preliminary Review Hearing.

(a) At the conclusion of a preliminary review hearing in which the commission finds credible evidence of a violation:

(b) If the respondent does not comply with subsection (a)(2) of this section, commission staff may request that the commission order a formal hearing.

(c) Commission staff shall report to the commission any written counter offer, staff’s recommendation to accept or reject a counter offer, if any, or any written request that a matter be set for a formal hearing received from the respondent under subsection (a)(2) of this section.

(d) After a written counter offer or a written request that a matter be set for a formal hearing is reported to the commission, the commission by record vote of at least six commissioners shall:

(e) The executive director shall dismiss a complaint if the commission does not order a formal hearing within 180 days after the conclusion of a preliminary review hearing.

(f) This section may not be construed as limiting the commission’s authority to agree to the settlement of a complaint under section 571.121 of the Government Code, including sending a revised proposed resolution to a respondent.


§ 18.27. Sworn Complaints.
(effective May 3, 2018)
Text of Repealed Rule

The deleted text is indicated by [strikethrough] text.

Chapter 18. GENERAL RULES CONCERNING REPORTS
Subchapter E. Formal Hearing

[§ 18.27. Sworn Complaints.

(a) The commission may consider the fine amounts established by this chapter in determining the amount of a fine to be assessed in a sworn complaint proceeding.

(b) The commission is not required to waive the fine for a respondent who files a corrected report but may consider the correction to be a mitigating factor in determining the amount of any fine. ]


§ 20.5. Reports Filed with a County Filing Authority.
(effective May 3, 2018)
Text of Adopted Rule

The new language is indicated by underlined text.
The deleted text is indicated by [strikethrough] text.

Chapter 20. REPORTING POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES
Subchapter A. General Rules

§ 20.5. Reports Filed with a County Filing Authority.

[(a)] The county clerk (or the county elections administrator or tax assessor-collector who is required to perform the functions of the county clerk as provided by §§31.043 or 31.071 of the Election Code) [assessor-collector, as applicable in a particular county)] is the appropriate filing authority for reports filed by:

[(b) A report must be filed with both the county filing authority and the commission if the report is required to be filed by a candidate for or holder of a judicial district office filled by voters of only one county, or by a specific-purpose committee supporting, opposing, or assisting such a candidate or officeholder. However, the campaign treasurer appointment must be filed only with the commission.]


§ 20.33. Termination of Campaign Treasurer Appointment by Commission.
(effective May 3, 2018)
Text of Adopted Rule

The new language is indicated by underlined text.
The deleted text is indicated by [strikethrough] text.

Chapter 20. REPORTING POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES
Subchapter A. General Rules

§ 20.33. Termination of Campaign Treasurer Appointment by Commission.

(a) The commission may terminate the campaign treasurer appointment of an inactive candidate or an inactive political committee.

(b) For purposes of subsection (a) of this section and §252.0131, Election Code, a candidate becomes “inactive” if the candidate files a campaign treasurer appointment with the commission and more than one year has lapsed since the candidate has filed any required campaign finance reports with the commission.

(c) For purposes of subsection (a) of this section and §252.0131, Election Code, a political committee becomes “inactive” if the political committee files a campaign treasurer appointment with the commission and more than one year has lapsed since the campaign treasurer of the political committee has filed any required campaign finance reports with the commission.

(d) This section does not apply to a candidate who holds [has been elected to] an office specified by §252.005(1) or (5), Election Code.


§ 27.1. Applicability.
(effective May 3, 2018)
Text of Adopted Rule

The new language is indicated by underlined text.

Chapter 27. JUDICIAL CAMPAIGN FAIRNESS ACT
Subchapter A. General Rules

§ 27.1. Applicability.

This chapter applies only to a candidate, officeholder, political committee, political contribution, or political expenditure to which the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act, Subchapter F, Chapter 253, Election Code, applies.


§ 27.101. When a Declaration of Compliance or Declaration of Intent Is Required.
(effective May 3, 2018)
Text of Adopted Rule

The new language is indicated by underlined text.

Chapter 27. JUDICIAL CAMPAIGN FAIRNESS ACT
Subchapter C. General Reporting Rules

§ 27.101. When a Declaration of Compliance or Declaration of Intent Is Required.

(a) “Declaration” means a declaration of compliance or declaration of intent required to be filed under §253.164, Election Code.

(b) A person is required to file a declaration only when:

    (1) the person becomes a candidate for a judicial office at a time when the person is not already a candidate for another judicial office, or

    (2) the person changes their intent to comply or not comply with the voluntary expenditure limits as stated in their most recently filed declaration.

(c) A candidate for a judicial office who decides to seek a different judicial office that requires the candidate to transfer their campaign treasurer appointment to another filing authority under §20.206 of this title shall also file with the other authority:

    (1) a copy of the candidate’s declaration certified by the authority with whom it was originally filed, or

    (2) a new declaration, if the candidate changes their intent to comply or not comply with the voluntary expenditure limits as stated in their most recently filed declaration.

(d) A declaration remains in effect for the judicial office sought by a candidate at the time it is filed. If a candidate for a judicial office decides to seek a different judicial office, the declaration that is in effect remains in effect for the subsequent judicial office.
Texas.gov | Texas Homeland Security | Statewide Search | Site Policies