Summary of Bills
80th Legislative Session

HB 590 – State Agency Ethics Policy

Amends Government Code § 572.051

HB 590 requires the Office of the Attorney General, in coordination with the Commission, to develop a model ethics policy and distribute the model policy to each state agency no later than November 1, 2007.  A state agency is not required to adopt the model ethics policy but may do so.  The bill requires each state agency to adopt a written ethics policy and distribute copies of the ethics policy and § 572.051 to each agency employee and officer not later than January 1, 2008, and to each new agency employee and officer within 3 business days of the date of employment or qualification for office.

The bill provides that an employee who violates the standards of conduct or violates an ethics policy under § 572.051 is subject to certain employment-related sanctions including termination.  The bill also provides that a state officer or state employee who violates the standards or violates the policy is subject to any applicable criminal or civil penalties.  The bill requires a prosecuting attorney to notify the Commission regarding the status of an investigation into an alleged ethics policy violation under this section.  The Commission is required to assist the prosecuting attorney with the investigation upon request.  The bill also provides that a violation under this section is not subject to the Commission’s sworn complaint process.  Effective 09/01/07

HB 1491 – Conflicts Disclosure Statement for Local Government Officers

Amends Chapter 176 of the Local Government Code

HB 1491 clarifies the filing requirements for local government officers and certain persons who contract with or are considering doing business with local government entities to make certain financial and business disclosures.  Although the Commission does not have jurisdiction of the law at issue, the Commission is required to adopt the forms necessary for individuals to comply with the law. The bill modifies the information required to be reported on the forms and requires the Commission to adopt updated forms no later than October 1, 2007.  At its June 29, 2007, meeting, the Commission adopted the forms as required by the bill.  Effective 05/25/07


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