Tribpedia: Gary Elkins

Limited Contracting Fixes Moving Forward

Chairwoman of the state Senate Finance Committee Jane Nelson and state House Appropriations Chairman John Otto.
Chairwoman of the state Senate Finance Committee Jane Nelson and state House Appropriations Chairman John Otto.

Amid a series of scandals, most lawmakers say they want to reform the way Texas hands out billions in state contracts. As the session's end looms, discussion has narrowed to a handful of bills that some warn are merely first steps.

 

Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks at a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford.
Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks at a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford.

Abbott Proposes Far-Reaching Ethics Reform

Ethics watchdogs are applauding gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott for proposing what would amount to a sea change in Texas ethics laws. The attorney general has introduced a policy proposal that would institute new criminal penalties for self-dealing and put more sunlight into disclosure and campaign finance laws.

Sen. John Carona.
Sen. John Carona.

For John Carona, Conflicts and Interests

The constitutional provision of a part-time Legislature whose members have full-time jobs back home limits the power of state government but blurs the line between public responsibilities and personal ambition — as the story of a rich and powerful state senator from Dallas illustrates.

State Rep. John Carona holds up his right hand during his first swearing-in ceremony for the 72nd Legislature on January 8, 1991.
State Rep. John Carona holds up his right hand during his first swearing-in ceremony for the 72nd Legislature on January 8, 1991.

Slideshow: John Carona Through the Years

Take a photographic trip through Sen. John Carona's career in the Texas Legislature, from his swearing in as a freshman House member in 1991 to his chairmanship of the powerful Senate Committee on Business & Commerce.