A Part-Time Legislature, but in Whose Interest?

Bidness as Usual

This is one in a series of occasional stories about ethics and transparency in the part-time Texas Legislature.

On the presidential campaign trail, Gov. Rick Perry waxed eloquent about the merits of Texas’ part-time Legislature, saying that Congress would be more effective if its members had “real jobs back at home.”

“We’re the 13th-largest economy in the world in Texas,” Perry said, “and we come to Austin for 140 days every other year, and it works wonderfully.”

Wonderfully, it turns out, for many of those elected. Paid a pittance by taxpayers for their official state duties, lawmakers ...

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