AUSTIN—Today, Texas Public Policy Foundation commends the filing of SB 943/HB 2189 by Texas Sen. Kirk Watson and Rep. Giovanni Capriglione. The purpose of the bill is to restore transparency to state and local government contracting, which was drastically reduced by a pair of 2015 rulings from the Texas Supreme Court.
“The opening preamble of the Public Information Act makes it clear that Texans place a premium on government transparency,” said Texas Public Policy Foundation’s James Quintero. “It states: ‘The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.’ In spite of this, Texas governments are not as transparent and forthright with public information as many expect them to be.
“Texans’ right to access public information has been undermined by a handful of unfavorable court decisions, like those involving Boeing and The Greater Houston Partnership. Strong new laws are needed that unequivocally restore the public’s right to know how tax dollars are spent.”
The legislation was crafted in consultation with the Texas Sunshine Coalition, which was formed during the last interim to advocate for greater government transparency. The coalition includes the Texas Public Policy Foundation, ACLU Texas, the League of Women Voters of Texas and several other organizations.