This is one in a series of occasional stories about ethics and transparency in the part-time Texas Legislature.
Texas' financial disclosure practices for state lawmakers may not be as thorough as ethics experts would like them to be. But the path Texas has taken to reach its current guidelines puts it ahead of many other states.
Take Idaho, Michigan and Vermont, three states that have no form of financial disclosure at all, meaning there is no way for candidates and officeholders to disclose possible conflicts of interest.
And while the salary disclosure cap on Texas' personal financial statement, which maxes out at $25,000, is outdated and low, there are still 33 states that do not require their candidates to provide actual salary values at all.
Is there room for improvement in Texas? Two states — Alaska and South Carolina — have already reached the holy grail of financial disclosure. Both states have ethics laws on the books that require their candidates to provide exact amounts for all sources of income. In Hawaii and Rhode Island, candidates use sliding scales that go all the way up to $1 million.
Use the interactive below to explore other disclosure categories and learn more about where Texas stands when compared to the rest of the nation. Many thanks to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which goes through the painstaking task of collecting this data on every state.
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