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Texas Ethics Commission

John G. Johnson General Entry

The Texas Ethics Commission, an eight-member commission with four members appointed by the governor and two members each by the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, was established on November 5, 1991, by the voters of the state as a constitutional amendment. Members serve four-year overlapping terms. Nominees are selected from separate lists submitted by members of the House and Senate and approved in primary elections. The commission may recommend salary increases for members of the legislature, the lieutenant governor, and the speaker, but the increase must be approved by the voters. It also sets per diem for state officials, requires financial disclosure from public officials, and publishes recommendations and rules for public officials. It assumed the secretary of state's duties on advisory opinions, lobbyist registration and expenditures, and review of campaign spending and contributions. All reports became computerized and cross-referenced with access by the public on January 1, 1993. The commission was given power to investigate and penalize ethics violations. Conduct in the race for speaker of the House is also overseen by the Ethics Commission. John Steiner was appointed executive director by the commission. In 1992 he had appropriations of $1,500,000 and thirty employees. The 1993 the appropriation was $1,325,384. The Texas Ethics Commission replaced the abolished State Ethics Advisory Commission, an eleven-member agency established in 1983 to provide guidance on various public ethics laws.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

John G. Johnson, “Texas Ethics Commission,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed April 10, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 1, 1995