Tribpedia: Van Taylor

In Texas, a Collapse of Ethics Reform

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.

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.

State Rep. Sarah Davis, R-Houston, on the House floor on May 4, 2013.
State Rep. Sarah Davis, R-Houston, on the House floor on May 4, 2013.

Ethics Reform: A Guide to What's Still Alive

Now that the massive overhaul contained in Senate Bill 19 has gone on life support, a few targeted efforts to shine the light on conflicts of interest and enhance transparency remain viable in the waning days of the session. Here's a guide to what's moving and what's not.

State Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, registers a no vote on an amendment to his ethics bill SB19 on May 26, 2015.
State Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, registers a no vote on an amendment to his ethics bill SB19 on May 26, 2015.

House Passes Ethics Bill; Senate Showdown Likely

The Texas House on Wednesday gave final sign-off to a far-reaching ethics reform package that would shine light on so-called “dark money” while restricting undercover recordings of people in the state Capitol.   

State Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, at a Tribune event on Dec. 11, 2014.
State Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, at a Tribune event on Dec. 11, 2014.

Senate Strengthens and Passes Ethics Bill

The Senate voted in often odd coalitions to reveal more about the money members make, prohibit themselves from immediately becoming lobbyists, post their financial statements online and even subject themselves and other elected officials to drug testing.

State Rep. Van Taylor, R-Plano, talks with a member on the House floor on May 16, 2011.
State Rep. Van Taylor, R-Plano, talks with a member on the House floor on May 16, 2011.

Ethics Legislation Headed to Senate Floor

A heavily watered-down ethics reform bill will soon be taken up by the full Senate. Lawmakers on Monday rejected an amendment that would have required legislators to publicly disclose their tax returns each year.

 

 

State Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth; Gov. Greg Abbott; and state Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano.
State Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth; Gov. Greg Abbott; and state Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano.

Senate Ethics Reform Bill Heavily Watered Down

Proposed ethics reform legislation underwent a significant overhaul Thursday in a Senate committee. Gone is the plan to take lucrative state pensions from lawbreaking lawmakers. Also out: a proposal to stop legislators from cashing in on a piece of the public debt business. 

State Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth; Gov. Greg Abbott; and state Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano.
State Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth; Gov. Greg Abbott; and state Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano.

High Hopes for Ethics Reform, but It's Early

Gov. Greg Abbott's full-throated embrace of ethics reform, a rarity under the Capitol dome, is breathing new life into the issue of years of failed efforts. But changing the status quo remains very much a work in progress, and some ideas Abbott proposed as a candidate are likely to change once they get thrown into the legislative meat grinder.

A Pre-Kinder student works to learn syllables and word identification in his class, part of the Summer Bilingual Academy at Wilson Elementary School, in San Antonio, TX on Tuesday, June 26, 2012.
A Pre-Kinder student works to learn syllables and word identification in his class, part of the Summer Bilingual Academy at Wilson Elementary School, in San Antonio, TX on Tuesday, June 26, 2012.

The Brief: Funding Questions Surface on Popular Kids' Programs

A couple of popular government programs for children — one helping with early education and the other providing health care — are facing funding questions.

Admiral William H. McRaven, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, was named the sole finalist to be chancellor of the University of Texas System on July 29, 2014. McRaven holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
Admiral William H. McRaven, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, was named the sole finalist to be chancellor of the University of Texas System on July 29, 2014. McRaven holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

The Brief: A New Leader for the UT System

At a special University of Texas System regents meeting on Tuesday evening, they are expected to name a sole finalist for the system's next chancellor. And their choice is expected to be Admiral William H. McRaven.