Texas House Rejects Attempt To Revive Stalled Open Records Bills

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AUSTIN (AP) — The Texas House has rejected a Senate attempt to add a string of proposals meant to promote open government to a smaller but related bill.

Austin Democratic Sen. Kirk Watson last week attached six amendments to a House open records bill.

He was attempting to revive separate bills increasing government transparency. They cleared the Senate, only to stall in House committee, forcing Watson to scramble to get them moving again.

But Democratic Rep. Eddie Lucio Jr. of Brownsville balked, saying Thursday, the amendments were “well beyond the scope” of his original bill. It sought only to expedite state agency denial of some open records requests.

Advocates say Lucio’s rejection dooms Watson’s open records-strengthening efforts. That includes his attempts to soften two recent Texas Supreme Court decisions that governmental entities don’t have to fully disclose public spending.

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