Tribpedia: Van Taylor

State Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, lays out SB 14, the Ethics Reform and Anti-Corruption Act, in the Texas Senate on Feb. 7, 2017.
State Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, lays out SB 14, the Ethics Reform and Anti-Corruption Act, in the Texas Senate on Feb. 7, 2017.

Texas Senate passes ethics reform

The Texas Senate passed a bill that would take pensions away from officials convicted of felonies and require lobbyists to disclose more of their wining and dining of lawmakers.

Sen. Van Taylor R-Plano, during an August 22, 2016 Sunset Advisory Committee hearing in Austin, Texas
Sen. Van Taylor R-Plano, during an August 22, 2016 Sunset Advisory Committee hearing in Austin, Texas

Senator goes for low-hanging fruit in ethics reform

State Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, is taking a realistic approach to ethics reform this year. He's pushing proposals that got wide agreement in both chambers two years ago but ultimately failed to draw Gov. Greg Abbott's signature.

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.

In Texas, a Collapse of Ethics Reform

When the gavel comes down on the legislative session on Monday, lawmakers will have 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 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.

Major Ethics Overhaul is Declared Dead

With no collective will to expose "dark money" contributions in Texas, a major ethics overhaul died in the waning hours of the 2015 legislatives session. A few piecemeal changes are still possible before the final gavel comes down on the 84th Legislature Monday.

Truancy Reform Heads Down to the Wire

With one Texas county facing a federal investigation into how it punishes chronic school-skippers — and Texas one of only two states that prosecute truants in adult courts — lawmakers are weighing two House measures that would decriminalize truancy. 

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. Here's a guide to what's moving and what's not.

State Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, on the House floor, May 7, 2015.
State Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, on the House floor, May 7, 2015.

The Brief: May 28, 2015

The House remains fully committed to keeping dark money disclosure language in its ethics reform legislation. However, the measure's Senate author is equally adamant that provision must come out.

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.  

Texas House Parliamentarian Chris Griesel and Speaker Joe Straus with several other House members on dias May 1, 2015
Texas House Parliamentarian Chris Griesel and Speaker Joe Straus with several other House members on dias May 1, 2015

The Brief: May 14, 2015

The long hours this week are a direct result of one of the first big end-of-session deadlines that hits today. The House has until the end of today to take initial action on any bill or resolution coming out of that chamber.

Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, speaks his concerns about law enforcement agencies working together on the border surge during a discussion at the Legislative Budget Board meeting on Dec. 1, 2014.
Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, speaks his concerns about law enforcement agencies working together on the border surge during a discussion at the Legislative Budget Board meeting on Dec. 1, 2014.

The Brief: April 29, 2015

Gone are accusations of gamesmanship as lawmakers get to work finding common ground on the session's border security bill.

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.

Committee Waters Down Ethics Reform Legislation

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

A pre-kindergarten student learned syllables and word identification during a summer bilingual academy at Wilson Elementary School in San Antonio on June 26, 2012.
<p>A pre-kindergarten student learned syllables and word identification during a summer bilingual academy at Wilson Elementary School in San Antonio on June 26, 2012.</p>

The Brief: Dec. 11, 2014

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