The Texas Senate took up its first two bills of the session on Tuesday: a wide-ranging ethics reform measure and a bill to punish local cities, counties and college campuses that act as sanctuary jurisdictions.
Both issues were designated "emergency" issues by Gov. Greg Abbott last week, allowing lawmakers in both chambers to take up the issues faster.
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Perry’s Senate Bill 4 would punish local government entities and college campuses that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials or enforce immigration laws. The bill was the subject of an emotional 16-hour hearing last week before being voted out by the Senate Affair Committee on a 7-2 vote along party lines.
Before approving SB 4 on a party-line vote, the Senate unanimously approved Sen. Van Taylor's ethics reform package. Senate Bill 14 would require lawmakers to reveal more of their private business dealings, take away lucrative pensions from corrupt elected officials and close a loophole that allows special interest lobbyists to wine and dine lawmakers without disclosing it. It also would slow down the “revolving door” that lets legislators immediately becoming lobbyists after they leave office and use their campaign funds to help set themselves up in business.
Check out how the floor debate over the two bills played out over social media: