Law:Title 3. Legislative Branch (Texas)

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Subtitle A. Legislature

Contents

Chapter 301. Legislative Organization

Subchapter A. Initial Meeting And Organization

Section  301.001.  Time Of Meeting.

The legislature shall convene in regular session at 12 noon on the second Tuesday in January of each odd-numbered year.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  301.002.  Who May Organize.

The following persons only may organize the senate and house of representatives:

(1)  senators who have not completed their terms of office; and

(2)  individuals who have received certification of election to the house of representatives or senate.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  301.003.  Secretary Of State As Presiding Officer.

(a) The secretary of state shall attend the convening of each regular legislative session and shall preside.

(b)  If there is no secretary of state or if the secretary of state is absent or unable to attend, the attorney general shall attend and preside.

(c)  The secretary of state shall appoint a clerk to take the minutes of the proceedings. If the chief clerk of the house of representatives for the previous session is present, the secretary of state shall appoint that person to act as clerk.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  301.004.  Duties Of Clerk.

(a) Under the direction of the secretary of state, the clerk shall call the counties in alphabetical order regardless of whether the secretary of state has received the election returns for each county.

(b)  If an individual appears at the call and presents proper evidence of his election, the individual shall be admitted or qualified as if the individual's election returns had been made to the secretary of state.

(c)  After the clerk has called the counties and the members-elect have appeared and presented their credentials, the clerk shall administer the official oath to each member-elect.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  301.005.  Lack Of Quorum.

If a quorum is not present on the day the legislature is to convene, the secretary of state and the clerk shall attend each day until a quorum appears and is qualified.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  301.006.  Selection Of Officers.

(a) Immediately after election of the speaker of the house of representatives under Section 302.001, the speaker shall take the chair.

(b)  After the speaker takes the chair, the house of representatives shall choose necessary officers and the speaker shall administer the official oath to them.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  301.007.  Distribution Of Journals.

(a) The lieutenant governor and speaker shall each appoint an employee to distribute the journal of the respective houses.

(b)  The employee shall distribute a copy of the journal to:

(1)  the governor;

(2)  each member of the legislature; and

(3)  heads of departments, if requested.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Subchapter B. Legislative Reorganization Act

Section  301.011.  Short Title.

This subchapter may be cited as the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1961.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  301.012.  Purpose.

The legislature believes that it must conduct its activities on a full-time and continuing basis in order to achieve efficiency and continuity in performing its duties. It is the purpose of this subchapter to authorize legislative committees and other legislative instrumentalities to work and meet their responsibilities regardless of whether the legislature is in session.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  301.013.  Selection Of Committees.

(a) In its rules of procedure or in a simple resolution, each house may determine the number, composition, function, membership, and authority of its committees.

(b)  By concurrent resolution, the two houses may determine the number, composition, function, membership, and authority of joint committees.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  301.014.  Powers And Duties Of Standing Committees.

(a) Each standing committee shall:

(1)  conduct a continuing study of any matter within its jurisdiction and of the instrumentalities of government administering or executing the matter;

(2)  examine the administration and execution of all laws relating to matters within its jurisdiction;

(3)  conduct investigations to collect adequate information and materials necessary to perform its duties;

(4)  formulate legislative programs; and

(5)  initiate, draft, and recommend to the appropriate house any legislation the committee believes is necessary and desirable.

(b)  The chair of each standing committee shall introduce or cause to be introduced the legislative programs developed by the committee and shall mobilize committee efforts to secure the enactment into law of committee proposals.

(c)  Each committee may inspect the records, documents, and files of each state department, agency, or office as necessary to perform the committee's duties.

(d)  A standing committee is not limited in its legislative endeavors to considering bills, resolutions, or other proposals submitted by individual legislators. Each committee shall search for problems within its jurisdiction and develop, formulate, initiate, and secure passage of any legislative solution the committee believes is desirable.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  301.015.  Meetings Of Standing Committees.

(a) When the legislature is in session, each standing committee shall, if practicable, meet regularly according to applicable legislative requirements and rules of procedure. A committee shall meet at other times determined by the committee.

(b)  When the legislature is not in session, each standing committee shall meet as necessary to transact the committee's business. Each committee shall meet in Austin, except that if authorized by resolution of the house creating the committee, the committee may meet in any location in this state that the committee determines necessary. To the extent authorized by resolution, each committee may determine its meeting times.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  301.016.  Special Committees.

(a) By resolution, each house acting individually or the two houses acting jointly may create special committees.

(b)  A special committee shall perform the duties and functions and exercise the powers prescribed by the resolution creating the committee.

(c)  Except as limited by the resolution creating the special committee, a special committee shall have and exercise the powers granted under this subchapter to a standing committee. A special committee also has any other powers delegated to it by the resolution creating the committee, subject to the limitations of law.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  301.017.  General Investigating Committees.

(a) By resolution, each house may create a general investigating committee.

(b)  The senate general investigating committee must consist of five senators appointed by the president of the senate. The president of the senate shall designate a committee member as chairman.

(c)  The house general investigating committee must consist of not fewer than five house members appointed by the speaker. The speaker shall designate a committee member as chairman.

(d)  Each member serves a term beginning on the date of the member's appointment and ending with the convening of the next regular session following the date of appointment.

(e)  If a vacancy occurs on a general investigating committee, the appropriate appointing authority shall appoint a person to fill the vacancy in the same manner as the original appointment.

(f)  Each general investigating committee shall select a vice-chairman and secretary from among its members.

(g)  Members of a general investigating committee are entitled to reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred in attending committee meetings and engaging in committee work.

(h)  All expenses of a general investigating committee, including compensation of the committee's employees and expenses incurred by members, shall be paid out of any appropriation to the legislature for mileage, per diem, and contingent expenses.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1005, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  301.018.  General Investigating Committee Meetings. (a)

Each general investigating committee may begin work as soon as it desires after its members are appointed. Each general investigating committee created under this subchapter shall meet, organize, and adopt rules of evidence and procedure and any other necessary rules. The committee rules may not conflict with Section 301.025.

(b)  Whether or not the legislature is in session, each general investigating committee may meet at any time or place in the state determined necessary by the committee.

(c)  Each general investigating committee shall keep a record of its proceedings.

(d)  A majority of the members of a general investigating committee constitutes a quorum to transact business.

(e)  If the general investigating committees decide not to conduct joint hearings as provided by Section 301.019, the committees shall establish a liaison to fully inform the chairman of the inactive committee of the nature and progress of any inquiry by the other committee.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1005, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  301.019.  Joint General Investigating Committee Hearings.

(a) On a majority vote of each general investigating committee, the committees may conduct joint hearings and investigations. The committees may adopt joint rules to govern the hearings.

(b)  If the general investigating committees conduct joint inquiries or investigations, the chairman of the senate committee shall be the chairman and the chairman of the house committee shall be the vice-chairman.

(c)  Seven members of a joint general investigating committee constitute a quorum.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  301.020.  Powers And Duties Of General Investigating Committees.

(a) Each general investigating committee may initiate or continue inquiries and hearings concerning:

(1)  state government;

(2)  any agency or subdivision of government within the state;

(3)  the expenditure of public funds at any level of government within the state; and

(4)  any other matter the committee considers necessary for the information of the legislature or for the welfare and protection of state citizens.

(b)  Each general investigating committee may inspect the records, documents, and files and may examine the duties, responsibilities, and activities of each state department, agency, and officer and of each municipality, county, or other political subdivision of the state.

(c)  If a person disobeys a subpoena or other process that a general investigating committee lawfully issues, the committee may cite the person for contempt and cause the person to be prosecuted for contempt according to the procedure prescribed by this chapter or by other law.

(d)  Each general investigating committee shall make reports to members of the legislature that the committee determines are necessary and appropriate.

(e)  Information held by a general investigating committee that if held by a law enforcement agency or prosecutor would be excepted from the requirements of Section 552.021 under Section 552.108 is confidential and not subject to public disclosure.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1005, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  301.021.  General Investigating Committee Employees.

(a) If for any reason it is necessary to obtain assistance in addition to the services provided by the State Auditor, attorney general, Texas Legislative Council, or Department of Public Safety, each general investigating committee may employ and compensate assistants to assist in any investigation, audit, or legal matter.

(b)  Each general investigating committee may employ and compensate clerks, stenographers, and other employees to conduct committee investigations and hearings and keep proper records.

(c)  Before a general investigating committee may employ or compensate an employee, the committee must submit the proposed employment to the president of the senate or speaker of the house, as appropriate, for authorization. If the president of the senate or speaker agrees to the proposed employment, he must authorize the employment in writing.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  301.022.  Testimony Under Oath.

(a) All legislative committees shall require witnesses to give testimony under oath, subject to the penalties of perjury.

(b)  The oath required by this section may be waived by any committee except a general investigating committee.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  301.023.  Administering Oaths.

(a) The following individuals may administer oaths to testifying witnesses:

(1)  the president of the senate;

(2)  the speaker of the house;

(3)  the chairman or acting chairman of a standing or special committee; and

(4)  the chairman or acting chairman of a joint committee.

(b)  If circumstances require, a member of either house may administer an oath to a witness testifying on a matter pending in the member's house or in a committee of that house.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  301.024.  Process.

(a) A general investigating committee may issue process to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, records, documents, and instruments required by the committee. Any other committee may issue process if authorized by the resolution creating the committee or the rules of procedure of the creating house. A committee may issue process to a witness at any place in this state.

(b)  A committee chairman shall issue in the name of the committee all subpoenas and other process as directed by the committee.

(c)  If necessary to obtain compliance with a subpoena or other process, a committee may issue writs of attachment.

(d)  All process may be addressed to and served by any peace officer of this state or by the sergeant at arms appointed by the committee.

(e)  A witness who attends a committee proceeding or a proceeding of either house under process is entitled to the same mileage and per diem as a witness who appears before a grand jury in this state. Mileage and per diem are paid from that house's contingent expense fund or from the contingent expense fund of the committee conducting the proceeding.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  301.025.  Refusal To Testify.

(a) A witness called by either house or by a legislative committee does not have a privilege to refuse to testify to a fact or produce a document on the ground that the testimony or document may tend to disgrace the person or otherwise make the person infamous.

(b)  The legislature may require a person to testify or produce a document concerning a matter under inquiry before either house or a legislative committee even if the person claims that the testimony or document may incriminate him.

(c)  If a person testifies or produces a document while claiming that the testimony or document may incriminate him, the person may not be indicted or prosecuted for any transaction, matter, or thing about which the person truthfully testified or produced evidence.

(d)  A witness has a right to counsel when testifying before the legislature or a legislative committee.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  301.026.  Contempt Of Legislature.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1)  has been summoned as a witness to testify or produce papers by either house or any legislative committee; and

(2)  refuses to appear, refuses to answer relevant questions, or refuses to produce required books, papers, records, or documents.

(b)  An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 and by imprisonment for not less than 30 days nor more than 12 months.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  301.027.  Prosecution For Contempt Of Legislature.

(a) If a person is summoned by either house or any legislative committee as prescribed by Section 301.024 and fails to appear, refuses to answer relevant questions, or fails to produce required books, papers, records, or documents while the legislature is in session, the fact of the failure may be reported to either house. If the legislature is not in session, a statement of facts concerning the failure may be reported to and filed with the president of the senate or speaker of the house.

(b)  If the president of the senate or speaker receives a report or statement of facts as provided by Subsection (a), the president of the senate or speaker shall certify the statement of facts to the Travis County district attorney under the seal of the senate or house of representatives, as appropriate.

(c)  The Travis County district attorney shall bring the matter before the grand jury for action. If the grand jury returns an indictment, the district attorney shall prosecute the indictment.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  301.028.  Cooperation Of Other Agencies.

(a) Each standing committee, including a general investigating committee, may request necessary assistance from all state agencies, departments, and offices, including:

(1)  the State Auditor;

(2)  the Texas Legislative Council;

(3)  the Department of Public Safety; and

(4)  the attorney general.

(b)  Each state agency, department, and office shall assist any legislative committee that requests assistance.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  301.029.  Appropriations For Salaries, Per Diem, And Expenditures.

(a) Each house may pay contingent expenses for the entire term of each member of that house.

(b)  Each house may appropriate money to pay all salaries, per diem, and other expenditures authorized by law.

(c)  The appropriations to the legislature shall specify separate appropriations for the house of representatives and for the senate.

(d)  The comptroller of public accounts shall keep each house's accounts separate and distinct. Unless authorized by law, money in one account may not be transferred to the other account.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  301.031.  Committee Staff.

From its contingent expense fund, each house may provide for necessary clerks, clerical assistance, and staff to each committee created by that house.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  301.032.  Gifts And Grants.

(a) Either house of the legislature may accept gifts, grants, and donations from any organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code for the purpose of funding any legislative activity.

(b)  A committee created by resolution may accept gifts, grants, and donations for purposes of funding the committee's activities unless the resolution prohibits the acceptance.

(c)  All gifts, grants, and donations must be accepted in an open meeting by a majority of the voting members of the appropriate body and reported in the public record of the accepting body with the name of the donor and purpose of the gift, grant, or donation.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 617, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Section  301.033.  Allocation Of Space In Legislative Services Building.

(a) The space in the legislative services office building and parking facilities authorized by Chapter 168, Acts of the 74th Legislature, Regular Session, 1995, is allocated to the legislature and legislative agencies for their use. The presiding officers of each house of the legislature shall jointly decide the allocation of the space in the building and facilities.

(b)  The building shall be known as the Robert E. Johnson Building.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  301.034.  Sale Of Texas Flags And Similar Items.

Either house of the legislature may acquire and provide for the sale of Texas flags and other items carrying symbols of the State of Texas.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 377, Sec. 1, eff. May 29, 1999. Renumbered from Sec. 301.033 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 21.001(35), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Subchapter C. Membership On Interim Committees

Section  301.041.  Termination Of Membership.

(a) A duly appointed senator's or representative's membership on the Legislative Budget Board, Legislative Library Board, Legislative Audit Committee, Texas Legislative Council, or any other interim committee terminates if the member:

(1)  resigns the membership;

(2)  ceases membership in the legislature for any reason; or

(3)  fails to be nominated or elected to the legislature for the next term.

(b)  A vacancy created under this section shall be immediately filled by appointment for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment.

(c)  If a member serves on the Legislative Budget Board, Legislative Library Board, or Legislative Audit Committee because of the member's position as chairman of a standing committee, this section does not affect the member's position as chairman of that standing committee.

(d)  In filling a vacancy created under this section, the lieutenant governor or the speaker may appoint a senator or representative, as appropriate, other than a committee chairman designated by law to serve as a member of the Legislative Budget Board, Legislative Library Board, Legislative Audit Committee, Texas Legislative Council, or any other interim committee. An appointment made under this subsection does not constitute an appointment to any position other than that of a member of a board, council, or committee covered by this section.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 2.01(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1987.



Subchapter D. Legislative Publications

Section  301.051.  Issuance Of Publications.

Either house of the legislature or a legislative agency may produce and sell or distribute publications that the house or agency determines to be of interest to the legislature or the general public. The sales price of a publication shall be designed to recover costs incurred in preparing and issuing the publication.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 769, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 31, 1987.



Subchapter E. Legal Representation Of Legislature

Section  301.061.  Legal Representation Of Legislature.

(a) Subject to the requirements of Subsection (b) and to the exception provided in Subsection (c), the legislature, after notifying and consulting the attorney general, may employ counsel, or authorize the counsel of a legislative agency, to file suits on behalf of the legislature, to intervene in pending litigation on behalf of the legislature, or to otherwise represent the legislature in the courts of this state or in the courts of the United States.

(b)  Representation of the legislature under this section is authorized only if:

(1)  the speaker and the president of the senate approve the representation in writing; or

(2)  both houses by concurrent resolution approve the representation.

(c)  Subsection (a) does not apply to the representation of the interests of the legislature before the Supreme Court of Texas in violation of Article IV, Section 22, of the Texas Constitution.

(d)  A member of the legislature is immune from civil liability resulting from the legislature's participation in litigation under this section, including liability for attorney fees, costs, and sanctions that may be awarded in the litigation. This subsection is cumulative of the common law immunity applicable to the conduct of members of the legislature.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 753, Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 1993.

Chapter 302. Speaker Of The House Of Representatives

Subchapter A. Election Of Speaker

Section  302.001.  Election.

When the house of representatives first convenes in regular session and a quorum is present and has been qualified, the house shall elect a speaker unless a majority of the members present decides to defer the election.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Subchapter B. Candidate For Speaker: Campaign Finance

Section  302.011.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Speaker candidate" means a member of or candidate for the house of representatives who has announced his candidacy for or who by his actions, words, or deeds seeks election to the office of speaker of the house of representatives.

(2)  "Campaign expenditure" means the expenditure of money or the use of services or any other thing of value to aid or defeat the election of a speaker candidate.

(3)  "Campaign funds" means the speaker candidate's personal funds that are devoted to the campaign for speaker and any money, services, or other things of value that are contributed or loaned to the speaker candidate for use in the candidate's campaign for speaker.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  302.012.  Records.

(a) Each speaker candidate shall keep records of all information required to be filed under this subchapter.

(b)  The records must be kept separate from the records required under the Texas Election Code for the speaker candidate's campaign for any other public office.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  302.0121.  Declaration Of Speaker Candidacy.

(a) Each speaker candidate shall file a declaration of candidacy with the Texas Ethics Commission as provided by this section.

(b)  A declaration of speaker candidacy must:

(1)  be in writing;

(2)  identify the legislative session as to which the candidacy relates; and

(3)  include:

(A)  the speaker candidate's name;

(B)  the speaker candidate's residence or business street address; and

(C)  the speaker candidate's telephone number.

(c)  Except as provided by Subsection (e), a speaker candidate may not knowingly accept a contribution, loan, or promise of a contribution or loan in connection with the speaker candidacy or make or authorize a campaign expenditure at a time when a declaration of candidacy for the candidate is not in effect.

(d)  A declaration of speaker candidacy terminates on the earlier of:

(1)  the date the speaker candidate files a written statement with the Texas Ethics Commission stating that the candidate has terminated the candidacy; or

(2)  the date a speaker is elected for the legislative session as to which the speaker candidate filed the statement.

(e)  A former speaker candidate whose declaration of speaker candidacy is terminated under Subsection (d) may make a campaign expenditure in connection with a debt incurred during the period the former speaker candidate's declaration of candidacy was in effect.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 249, Sec. 3.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  302.013.  Filing Of Statement Of Contributions, Loans, And Expenditures. (a)

Each speaker candidate shall file a sworn statement with the Texas Ethics Commission listing the information required by Section 302.014.

(b)  Each speaker candidate shall file the statement on:

(1)  the first filing date after the date on which the speaker candidate files the declaration of candidacy required by Section 302.0121;

(2)  each filing date during the candidacy; and

(3)  each filing date until all campaign loans have been repaid.

(c)  The filing dates are the first day of January, March, May, July, September, and November and the day before each regular or called session of the legislature convenes.

(d)  Each speaker candidate shall file the statement by computer diskette, modem, or other means of electronic transfer, using computer software provided by the Texas Ethics Commission or computer software that meets commission specifications for a standard file format.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 107, Sec. 3.21, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 249, Sec. 3.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  302.014.  Contents Of Statement.

Each statement must list the following information for the period since the last filing date:

(1)  each contribution of money the speaker candidate or the speaker candidate's agent, servant, staff member, or employee received for the campaign, the complete name and address of the contributor, and the date and amount of the contribution;

(2)  each contribution of services and other things of value other than money that the speaker candidate or the speaker candidate's agent, servant, staff member, or employee received for the campaign, the nature of the contribution, the complete name and address of the contributor, and the date and value of the contribution;

(3)  each loan made to the speaker candidate or to the speaker candidate's agent, servant, staff member, or employee for the campaign, including all loans listed in previous filings that are as yet unpaid or that were paid during the period covered by the present filing, the complete name and address of the lender and each person other than the speaker candidate who is responsible on the note, the date and amount of the note, the intended source of funds to repay the note, and any payments already made on the note and the source of the payments; and

(4)  each expenditure of campaign funds that the speaker candidate or the speaker candidate's agent, servant, staff member, or employee made for the campaign, the complete name and address of each person to whom a payment of more than $10 was made, and the purpose of each expenditure.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  302.015.  Requisites Of Filing.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a statement is considered to be filed in compliance with this subchapter if the postmark shows that it was sent to the Texas Ethics Commission at its official post office address by registered or certified mail from any point in this state before the filing deadline.

(b)  A statement required to be filed on the day before a regular or called session convenes must actually be delivered and in the possession of the Texas Ethics Commission not later than midnight of that day.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 107, Sec. 3.22, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 249, Sec. 3.03, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 472, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  302.016.  Public Records.

(a) Each statement filed under this subchapter is public information and shall be preserved for two years after the election for which it was filed.

(b)  Unless a court of competent jurisdiction orders further preservation, a statement may be destroyed after the two-year period prescribed by Subsection (a).

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  302.017.  Contributions And Loans From Organizations.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a corporation, partnership, association, firm, union, foundation, committee, club, or other organization or group of persons may not contribute or lend or promise to contribute or lend money or other things of value to a speaker candidate or to any other person, directly or indirectly, to aid or defeat the election of a speaker candidate.

(b)  This section does not apply to a loan made in the due course of business to a speaker candidate for campaign purposes by a corporation that is legally engaged in the business of lending money and that has continuously conducted the business for more than one year before making the loan to the speaker candidate.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  302.018.  Contributions From Executive Or Judicial Officers Or Employees.

An elected officer or employee of the executive or judicial branch of state government may not contribute personal services, money, or goods of value to a speaker candidate's campaign.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  302.019.  Individual Contributions; Campaign Expenditures.

(a) Except as provided by Section 302.017 or 302.018, an individual other than the speaker candidate may contribute personal services and traveling expenses to aid or defeat a speaker candidate.

(b)  An individual other than the speaker candidate may expend a total of not more than $100 for the cost of correspondence to aid or defeat the election of a speaker candidate.

(c)  Except as provided by Subsections (a) and (b), all campaign expenditures must be made by the speaker candidate from campaign funds.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  302.0191.  Contributions And Expenditures From Political Contributions.

A person, including a speaker candidate, may not make a contribution to a speaker candidate's campaign or an expenditure to aid or defeat a speaker candidate from:

(1)  political contributions accepted under Title 15, Election Code;

(2)  interest earned on political contributions accepted under Title 15, Election Code; or

(3)  an asset purchased with political contributions accepted under Title 15, Election Code.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 249, Sec. 3.04, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  302.020.  Permitted Expenditures.

A speaker candidate may expend campaign funds for:

(1)  travel for the speaker candidate and the speaker candidate's immediate family and campaign staff;

(2)  the employment of clerks and stenographers;

(3)  clerical and stenographic supplies;

(4)  printing and stationery;

(5)  office rent;

(6)  telephone, telegraph, postage, freight, and express expenses;

(7)  advertising and publicity;

(8)  the expenses of holding political and other meetings designed to promote the candidacy;

(9)  the employment of legal counsel; and

(10)  the retirement of campaign loans.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  302.0201.  Disposition Of Unexpended Funds; Report.

(a) A former speaker candidate may:

(1)  use unexpended campaign funds to retire debt incurred in connection with the speaker candidacy; or

(2)  remit unexpended campaign funds to one or more of the following:

(A)  one or more persons from whom campaign funds were received, in accordance with Subsection (c); or

(B)  a recognized charitable organization formed for educational, religious, or scientific purposes that is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3), Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and its subsequent amendments.

(b)  A former speaker candidate may not retain contributions covered by this subchapter, assets purchased with the contributions, or interest and other income earned on the contributions for more than six years after the date the person ceases to be a speaker candidate or hold the office of speaker.

(c)  The amount of campaign funds disposed of under Subsection (a)(2)(A) to one person may not exceed the aggregate amount accepted from that person in connection with the former speaker candidate's most recent campaign for election to the office of speaker.

(d)  Not later than January 15 of each year, a former speaker candidate who retains unexpended campaign funds shall file a sworn report with the Texas Ethics Commission that includes:

(1)  the full name and address of each person to whom a payment from unexpended campaign funds is made;

(2)  the date and amount of each payment reported under Subdivision (1); and

(3)  the information required by Section 302.014 as to any contribution, loan, or expenditure not previously reported on a statement filed under Section 302.013.

(e)  A report filed under this section covers, as applicable:

(1)  the period:

(A)  beginning on the date after the last day of the period covered by the most recent statement filed by the former speaker candidate under Section 302.013; and

(B)  ending on December 31 of the preceding year; or

(2)  the preceding calendar year.

(f)  A former speaker candidate shall file the report on an official form designed by the Texas Ethics Commission. Sections 302.015 and 302.016 apply to a report filed under this section.

(g)  For purposes of this section, a speaker candidate elected as speaker of the house of representatives is considered to be a former speaker candidate.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 249, Sec. 3.04, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  302.021.  Offenses And Penalties.

(a) A speaker candidate or former speaker candidate commits an offense if the person:

(1)  knowingly fails to file the declaration of candidacy required by Section 302.0121;

(2)  knowingly fails to file the statement required by Section 302.013;

(3)  knowingly accepts a contribution, loan, or promise of a contribution or loan in violation of Section 302.0121(c);

(4)  knowingly accepts a contribution, loan, or promise of a contribution or loan prohibited by Section 302.017 from a corporation, partnership, association, firm, union, foundation, committee, club, or other organization or group of persons;

(5)  knowingly accepts a contribution from a person who uses political contributions, interest earned on political contributions, or an asset purchased with political contributions to make the contribution in violation of Section 302.0191;

(6)  expends campaign funds for any purpose other than those enumerated in Section 302.020;

(7)  knowingly retains contributions, assets purchased with contributions, or interest or other income earned on contributions in violation of Section 302.0201(b); or

(8)  knowingly fails to file the report of unexpended campaign funds as required by Section 302.0201(d).

(b)  An agent, officer, or director of a corporation, partnership, association, firm, union, foundation, committee, club, or other organization or group of persons commits an offense if the agent, officer, or director consents to a contribution, loan, or promise of a contribution or loan prohibited by this subchapter.

(c)  A person commits an offense if the person conspires with another person to circumvent any provision of this subchapter.

(d)  An individual other than the speaker candidate commits an offense if the individual, either acting alone or with another individual, expends or authorizes the expenditure of more than $100 for correspondence to aid or defeat the election of a speaker candidate or expends funds for any purpose other than for personal services and traveling expenses to aid or defeat the election of a speaker candidate.

(e)  A person commits an offense if the person contributes personal services, money, or goods in violation of Section 302.018.

(e-1)  A person commits an offense if the person knowingly makes a contribution to a speaker candidate's campaign or an expenditure to aid or defeat a speaker candidate from political contributions, interest earned on political contributions, or an asset purchased with political contributions in violation of Section 302.0191.

(f)  An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 249, Sec. 3.05, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  302.022.  Prosecution By Indictment.

Each prosecution under this subchapter must be brought by indictment rather than by complaint and information.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Subchapter C. Legislative Bribery

Section  302.031.  Definition.

In this subchapter, "economic benefit" means anything reasonably regarded as economic gain or advantage, including a campaign contribution.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  302.032.  Legislative Bribery: Promises Or Threats.

A person commits an offense if, with the intent to influence a member of or candidate for the house of representatives in casting a vote for speaker of the house of representatives, the person:

(1)  promises or agrees to cause:

(A)  the appointment of a person to a chairmanship or vice-chairmanship of a house committee or subcommittee;

(B)  the appointment of a person to a particular house committee or subcommittee, the Legislative Budget Board, the Texas Legislative Council, the Legislative Library Board, the Legislative Audit Committee, or any other position the speaker appoints;

(C)  preferential treatment on any legislation or appropriation;

(D)  the employment of a person; or

(E)  economic benefit to a person; or

(2)  threatens to cause:

(A)  the failure to appoint a person to a chairmanship or vice-chairmanship of a house committee or subcommittee;

(B)  the failure to appoint a person to a particular house committee or subcommittee, the Legislative Budget Board, the Texas Legislative Council, the Legislative Library Board, the Legislative Audit Committee, or any other position the speaker appoints;

(C)  unfavorable treatment on any legislation or appropriation;

(D)  the refusal of or removal from employment of a person; or

(E)  the withholding of economic benefit from a person.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  302.033.  Legislative Bribery: Accepting Benefits.

A member of or candidate for the house of representatives commits an offense if, on the representation or understanding that the member or candidate will cast a vote for a particular person for speaker of the house of representatives, the member or candidate solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept:

(1)  the appointment of or refusal to appoint a person to a chairmanship or vice-chairmanship of a house committee or subcommittee;

(2)  the appointment of or refusal to appoint a person to a particular house committee or subcommittee, the Legislative Budget Board, the Texas Legislative Council, the Legislative Library Board, the Legislative Audit Committee, or any other position the speaker appoints;

(3)  preferential or unfavorable treatment on any legislation or appropriation;

(4)  the employment of, refusal of employment of, or removal from employment of a person; or

(5)  economic benefit to or withholding of economic benefit from a person.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  302.034.  Penalty.

An offense under this subchapter is a felony punishable by imprisonment for not less than two years nor more than five years.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.



Section  302.035.  Permitted Communications, Discussions, And Advocacy.

This subchapter does not prohibit:

(1)  a person from contacting or communicating with a member of or candidate for the house of representatives about a legislative matter; or

(2)  a member of or candidate for the house from discussing, taking a position on, or advocating any action on a substantive issue in a speaker's race or any other legislative matter.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.


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