Technicality topples key financial reporting bill


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A much-watched bill designed to give the public more information on schools, taxes, government spending and debt held by state entities has gone down on a House technicality.

The measure was sponsored by Sen. Tommy Williams, who chairs the Senate’s powerful Finance Committee. It was carried in the House by Rep. Jim Pitts, head of appropriations.

The bill would have required increased disclosure by public bodies. But it died Tuesday night, after San Antonio Democratic Rep. Philip Cortez raised a parliamentary objection.

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Critics worried it could place undo reporting burdens on smaller entities. But modifications to address those concerns had helped the bill sail through the Senate 29-1.

The bill was backed by conservative and tea party groups worried about excessive government bond debt. Some good-government groups also supported it.