Austin, May 27 – Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, Dennis Bonnen, Republican of Angleton, recognized the sweeping nature of the House Bill 1495 and the great leadership State Representative Steve Toth, Republican of Conroe, and State Senator Brandon Creighton, Republican of Conroe, showed in fighting for passage of this important legislation, known as “The JD Lambright Local Government Ethics Reform Act.” The Lambright Act passed the Texas House and Texas Senate yesterday, Sunday, May 26, 2019, after a liberal democrat attempted to kill the legislation through a Point of Order, which the Parliamentarian overruled.
“Throughout the session, Representative Toth has always had the best interest of Montgomery County taxpayers at heart,” Speaker Bonnen said. “This legislation will go a long way to add accountability, increase transparency, and strengthen the code of ethics at the local level. Texans of District 15 are fortunate to have Representative Toth fighting on their behalf.”
Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, Republican of Keller, who worked closely with Representative Toth and Senator Creighton on the transparency provisions, expressed his appreciation for Rep. Toth’s willingness to work with him on this issue. “Representative Toth has been a steward for taxpayers since day one,” Representative Capriglione said. “I’m thankful for his leadership and look forward to continuing to work on behalf of the taxpayers beside him.”
“The JD Lambright Local Government Ethics Reform Act is a major win for taxpayers. This landmark legislation creates sweeping reforms that increase transparency and promote accountability,” Representative Toth said. “We are empowering citizens to know how much their government spends lobbying the legislature on their dime and against the taxpayer’s interest.”
“JD was one of the finest people I’ve ever known, and I’m very proud that the delegation could accomplish this ethics legislation in his honor,” Senator Creighton said. “I believe he would have been very proud of the policy within this bill.”
Representative Toth also said he was “extremely grateful for Speaker Dennis Bonnen’s support and counsel in helping us pass this sweeping reform legislation.”
The JD Lambright Local Government Ethics Reform Act, a bill introduced by State Representative Steve Toth and sponsored by Sen. Brandon Creighton that would increase tax-payer funded lobbying transparency and provide for counties with greater ability to fight corruption, was passed by both chambers on Sunday. Immediately after passage, Toth, Creighton, Creighton’s brilliant aide Braden Kennedy, and a group of supporters celebrated with hugs, high-fives, and handshakes in the back of the House Gallery on the Third Floor of the State Capitol.
H.B. 1495 prohibits lobbyists from entering into contracts with governmental entities, unless they submit a form, under penalty of perjury, to the Texas Ethics Commission disclosing the names of interested parties who have a controlling interest in their business. The bill also requires counties, cities, and other political subdivisions to clearly indicate in their budgets the amount each entity spends each year on tax-payer funded lobbying.