Technicality topples key financial reporting bill

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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.  

Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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