The Texas Legislative Guide was designed and developed by Becca Aaronson, Emily Albracht, Daniel Craigmile, Annie Daniel, Ben Hasson and Ryan Murphy for The Texas Tribune. The Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that promotes civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government and other matters of statewide concern.
The “revolving door” through which lawmakers become lobbyists has long been a fact of life in the Texas Capitol. For groups seeking to influence legislation, hiring a former lawmaker soon after they leave office — while they still maintain their network of contacts and influence — is desirable. Critics, though, question whether lawmakers should be able to cash in so quickly on lucrative deals to lobby immediately after their legislative service is done.
Legislation proposed during the 2015 session would've placed a two-session cooling-off period after lawmakers leave office before they can lobby for pay. Another bill would've mandated a two-year cooling-off period during which a lawmaker-turned-lobbyist could not make political contributions from an officeholder account.
But neither measure passed — nor did sweeping ethics overhaul legislation that might have made the Texas Legislature a more transparent place.
Updated: June 1, 2015
- Former legislators as lobbyists
- Lawmaker and lobbyist disclosures
- Overhauling the public integrity unit
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