SENATOR VAN TAYLOR FILES STATE EMPLOYEE LOBBY BAN ACT
AUSTIN, TX - State Senator Van Taylor today filed S.B. 137, the State Employee Lobby Ban Act, updating state ethics policy to prohibit state employees from lobbying local, federal or foreign governments.
"The people's trust in their government is paramount to a representative republic. This applies to elected officials as well as staff entrusted to implement policy initiatives," stated Taylor. "It is an inherent contradiction to serve the state as well as lobby on behalf of special interests. This bill is designed to reinforce the citizens trust in their government by ensuring that state employees do not engage in lobbying local, federal, or foreign government while they are being paid by the taxpayer to serve the people of Texas."
Current Texas' ethics laws bar state agencies from employing or contracting with any individual required to register as a lobbyist with the Texas Ethics Commission. This requirement, however, does not prohibit state workers from lobbying local, federal, or foreign governments. The absence of this prohibition creates the potential for a conflict of interest where a state employee may be paid to lobby these types of entities, particularly in a subject area relating to their state employment. The State Employee Lobby Ban Act establishes a bright line within the state's employee ethics policy prohibiting agency personnel from all forms of paid lobbying.
A seventh generation Texan, local small businessman, and decorated Marine Officer, Van Taylor serves the majority of Collin County and a portion of Dallas County in the Texas Senate where he is widely recognized as a conservative leader. Taylor serves as Vice-Chairman of both the Nominations Committee and the Sunset Advisory Commission. He is also as a member of the Education, Health and Human Services, and Transportation Committees as well as the interim Committee on Property Tax Reform and Relief. Van and his wife, Anne, married after his return from Iraq and are the proud parents of three young girls. Van and his family reside in Plano near the land his great-grandfather farmed during the Great Depression.
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