Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 845
By: Wilson
State Affairs
Committee Report (Amended)


Currently, lobbying regulation does not include a client conflict of
interest provision.  A lobbyist is not prohibited from representing clients
who are both for and against the same issue.  H.B. 845 prohibits a lobbyist
from representing opposing parties and provides penalties when there is a


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


SECTION 1.  Amends Subchapter B, Chapter 305, Government Code, by adding
Section 305.028, as follows: 

Sec. 305.028.  PROHIBITED CONFLICTS OF INTEREST.  (a) Prohibits a
registrant from representing opposing parties in communicating directly
with members of the legislative or executive branch to influence the same
legislation or administrative action. 

(b) Prohibits a registrant from representing a person in communicating
directly with members of the legislative or executive branch to influence
legislation or administrative action, except as provided in Subsection (c),
if representing that person involves a substantially related matter in
which that person's interests are materially and directly adverse to the
interests of another client of the registrant, the organization that
employs the registrant, or the partner or other person associated with the
registrant (related parties); or reasonably appears to be or become
adversely limited by the related parties responsibilities to another
client, or the interests of the related parties. 

(c) Authorizes a registrant to represent a client in the circumstances
described in Subsection (b), if the registrant reasonably believes the
representation of each client will not be materially affected, and each
client consents in writing after full disclosure of the enumerated aspects
of the common representation.  

(d) Prohibits a registrant who represents multiple parties in a matter
related to the same legislation or administrative action from representing
any of the parties in a dispute arising from the matter, unless prior
written consent is obtained from all parties to the dispute. 

(e) Requires the registrant to withdraw from one or more representations,
if representation is in conflict or has become in conflict with the
restrictions of this section, to the extent that any remaining
representation is not in conflict with this section. 

(f) Prohibits related parties of the registrant from engaging in conduct
prohibited by this section. 

(g) Requires the registrant to affirm, under oath, compliance with this
section, in each report filed with the Texas Ethics Commission
(h) Authorizes the commission to receive complaints of a violation of this
section. Authorizes the commission, if it determines a violation has
occurred, after notice and hearing, to impose any penalty it may impose
under another state law.  Requires the commission to rescind the person's
registration and prohibits it from allowing the person to register until
the second anniversary of the rescission. 

(i) Provides that a penalty under this section is in addition to any other
enforcement action that the commission or another person may take under
this chapter. 

(j) Provides that restrictions on the registrant under this section is in
addition to any restriction under Section 305.0011 (Code of Conduct). 

SECTION 2.  Effective date: September 1, 1999.  
            Makes application of this Act prospective.

SECTION 3.  Emergency clause.  


Amendment #1

Amends proposed Section 305.028, Government Code, by adding a new
Subsection (k), as follows: 

(k) Requires a registrant to file with the commission a report describing
each legislative document, including a bill or resolution, in regard to
which a client has retained the registrant to communicate directly with a
member of the legislative or executive branch to influence legislative
action.  Provides that the report must be filed no later than three days
after the document is filed with the legislative body or three days after
the registrant is retained, if the document is filed before the registrant
is retained.  Requires the registrant to simultaneously notify each client
of the required report, which must describe: 

(1) when the registrant was retained to communicate directly with a member
of the legislative or executive branch to influence legislative action on
the legislative document; and 

(2) the client's stated purpose in retaining the registrant.