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Speaker, Lieutenant Governor Appoint Ethics Panel Members

UPDATED: Texas House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Friday appointed members to the Select Interim Committee to Study Ethics Laws, with Straus making further apointments to the the Texas Legislative Council.

Speaker Joe Straus walks toward the House on Jan. 8, 2013, the opening day of the 83rd Texas Legislature.

Updated, Aug, 22, 4:15 p.m.:

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst announced late Friday afternoon his appointments to the Select Interim Committee to Study Ethics Laws. They are Joan Huffman, R-Houston, co-chair; Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo; Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio; and Thomas R. Phillips, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas.

Original story:

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus on Friday appointed public and legislative members to the Texas Legislative Council and the Select Interim Committee to Study Ethics Laws.

The council drafts bills, does research, publishing, document distribution and technological assistance for the Legislature and other agencies. Straus' appointees are state Reps. Dwayne Bohac, R-Houston; Travis Clardy, R-Nacogdoches; Helen Giddings, D-Dallas; Larry Phillips, R-Sherman; and Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston. State Rep. Charlie Geren, R-River Oaks, is chairman of the House Committee on Administration, which automatically makes him a member of the council that is made up of six representatives and six senators, co-chaired by the speaker and the lieutenant governor.

The Select Interim Committee to Study Ethics Laws was created last year to review laws and regulations related to ethics, campaign finance, lobbying and personal finance disclosures in advance of the January 2015 legislative session. The speaker and the lieutenant governor each appoint four of the panel's eight members. 

Straus named state Rep. Sarah Davis, R-Houston, to co-chair the committee. She'll be joined by state Reps. Ken King, R-Canadian; Poncho Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass; along with Austin attorney Ross Fischer, former chairman of the Texas Ethics Commission and chairman of the Legislative and Campaign Law Section of the State Bar of Texas.

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