Texas Ethics Panel Says Lawmakers May Solicit for Charities

Rejecting a recommendation by its staff lawyers, the Texas Ethics Commission’s board declined last week to approve guidelines discouraging state legislators who work for nonprofit organizations from seeking donations for the groups, The Texas Tribune reports.

Commission attorneys had drafted an advisory opinion stating that it was legal for lawmakers to raise money for nonprofit employers but that they should eschew doing so.

The panel unanimously voted on Thursday to eliminate the language discouraging such solicitation, considering it too harsh. The commissioners approved an amended version that encourages legislators to recognize that gifts they collect for their charities “could be viewed as improper under certain circumstances.”

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