Tribpedia: Joan Huffman

Gov. Greg Abbott at the Texas State Prayer Breakfast in Austin on May 4, 2015.
Gov. Greg Abbott at the Texas State Prayer Breakfast in Austin on May 4, 2015.

Abbott Emails Predicted Ethics Reform Failure

Gov. Greg Abbott accurately predicted the death of ethics reform months ago and concluded in a candid and prescient email to top staffers that he would likely be forced to call one or more 30-day special sessions to push meaningful reforms through a recalcitrant Texas Legislature.

Gov. Greg Abbott delivering his State of the State speech on Feb. 17, 2015.
Gov. Greg Abbott delivering his State of the State speech on Feb. 17, 2015.

In Texas, a Collapse of Ethics Reform

When the gavel comes down on the 2015 legislative session on Monday, lawmakers will have considered, but ultimately failed to pass into law, about two dozen different proposals aimed at curbing conflicts of interest and shining light into the dark corners of the Capitol.

State Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, speaks during a Texas Tribune event on Jan. 12, 2015.
State Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, speaks during a Texas Tribune event on Jan. 12, 2015.

Huffman Stands by Push for "Spousal Loophole"

State Sen. Joan Huffman is facing criticism after authoring a measure allowing elected officials and bureaucrats to disclose less information about their spouses' property and financial activity. She says the change was needed to clarify an “unclear” Texas Ethics Commission rule.

Sen. Kirk Watson D-Austin and Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston, discuss language to amendment for SB #11 relating to campus carry on March 18th, 2015
Sen. Kirk Watson D-Austin and Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston, discuss language to amendment for SB #11 relating to campus carry on March 18th, 2015

New Prosecution System for Politicians Advances

Texas politicians are on the verge of creating a new system for prosecuting a unique type of white collar crime — the type that involves them. Both chambers on Saturday voted to send a bill to Gov. Greg Abbott that would let politicians and their staffers face prosecution in their home counties — not the liberal state capital. 

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick after votes on first reading of SB #11 March 18th, 2015
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick after votes on first reading of SB #11 March 18th, 2015

Senate Announces Budget Negotiation Team

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has named the Senate lineup of budget negotiators who will meet with House counterparts and hash out a final version of the two-year state budget.

Sen. Kirk Watson D-Austin and Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston, discuss language to amendment for SB #11 relating to campus carry on March 18th, 2015
Sen. Kirk Watson D-Austin and Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston, discuss language to amendment for SB #11 relating to campus carry on March 18th, 2015

Lawmakers in No Rush to Disclose Wining and Dining

Two bills aimed at requiring disclosure of lobbyist wining and dining are on the verge of being snuffed out in the Senate State Affairs Committee, according to the sponsor of the measures. That's despite Gov. Greg Abbott’s vow a few weeks ago to “dedicate this session to ethics reform."

This is a photo of one of two $2800 chairs ordered by Jack Stick's office when he was deputy inspector general. The chairs which resemble the ones used in the Texas Legislature committee hearing rooms, were discovered after the resignations of Stick, and Doug Wilson, inspector general.
This is a photo of one of two $2800 chairs ordered by Jack Stick's office when he was deputy inspector general. The chairs which resemble the ones used in the Texas Legislature committee hearing rooms, were discovered after the resignations of Stick, and Doug Wilson, inspector general.

The Brief: Senators Suggest 21CT Contract Points to Larger Problems

The ability of Austin tech firm 21CT to secure a $20 million Medicaid fraud software contract through a no-bid program run by the state's Department of Information Resources drew intense scrutiny from Senate budget writers on Tuesday.

State Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick discussed the Senate's base budget plan at a Jan. 27, 2015, news conference.
State Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick discussed the Senate's base budget plan at a Jan. 27, 2015, news conference.

Public Integrity Unit Chief Testifies Before Senators

The head of the state's Public Integrity Unit told Senate lawmakers on Monday that Gov. Rick Perry’s veto of its funding in 2013 forced the division — which investigates public corruption — to lay off staff and give up cases.