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NPT Capitol: Open letter from Rep. Marquez re: Ethics bill

marquezOpen Letter to the community of El Paso, El Paso State Delegation and Local Elected Officials

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincerest gratitude to everyone that contributed and participated in the creation and development of HB 2301 and its companion SB 1368. The need for this legislation is clear and I am proud of the El Paso leaders who have been champions of this bill. There has been much discussion surrounding HB 2301 and its intent to create a stronger ethics commission, and the resulting debate and input have only served to strengthen and improve the bill.

My staff and I have diligently reviewed the genuine concerns of other parties. In evaluating the submitted suggestions, I accepted several of the changes, which will enhance the legislation while maintaining its integrity and its original intent.

In an effort to protect citizens, we were vigilant in defending one’s right to due process and safeguard against unfounded complaints. We strengthened checks and balances by limiting elected officials’ access to information brought before the commission. Furthermore, to ensure the cost for the county remains low, we created a rotating three person committee to review and weed out frivolous complaints.

I want to thank again the entire delegation: Senator Shapleigh, Chairman Pickett, Representative Chavez, Representative Quintanilla and Representative Moody for their contribution in making this bill better. Some of their changes include the following: changing the standards on appeal to trial de novo, which would allow for a new trial at district court level; eliminating all criminal penalties for those appearing before the commission; and providing that HB 2301 can not interfere with an employees collective bargaining or civil service agreement.

Furthermore, I would like to congratulate our local officials at the county commissioners court and the County Attorney for their perseverance and commitment to El Paso and the passage of HB 2301.

Please find the resulting committee substitute attached.
sb-1368-committee-sub-lege-council-draft-5-2

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 4, 2009 at 11:17 am

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. We need stronger ethics legislation

    Ken G

    May 6, 2009 at 3:25 pm

  2. […] Joe Pickett and Norma Chavez became the last members of the El Paso delegation to sign onto the newly revised ethics bill. If passed out of the House it will have to need to go to the Senate again, as the […]


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