Texas Senate debates “sanctuary city” bill and ethics reform (live video)” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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.

Of the two bills, state Sen. Charles Perry‘s bill banning sanctuary cities and sanctuary college campuses in Texas proved to be the more contentious, as lawmakers waded through dozens of amendments.

“What’s the next [amendment] going to do? Take their first born?” state Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, asked at one point.

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.


This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2017/02/07/texas-senate-debates-sanctuary-city-and-ethics-bills-live-video/.

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