Representative Flynn Files Transparency Legislation, Invites Dialogue
AUSTIN - Friday, Representative Dan Flynn (R-Van) announced he had filed four pieces of legislation that could change the way the state of Texas addresses the issue of transparency within state agency operations, specifically with regards to compensation for executive staff. House Bill 9, 12, and 16 focus on the process in which state agencies will be required to make public all information regarding compensation of executive staff, supplemental gifts for staff salaries, and the posting of audits performed on state agencies. Also filed was HB3416, which prohibits the issuance of Capital Appreciation Bonds (CAB) by local governments. All four bills address the importance of fiscal transparency within state and local governments.
"The prohibition of Capital Appreciation Bonds is an opportunity for the Legislature to encourage transparency at all levels," said Representative Flynn. "It is time to start an open dialogue about the devastating long range costs and the effects bonds of this type are to a community, and to a state, who prides itself on fiscal responsibility, one only needs to look to California and the U. S. Federal Government to see the effect these bonds can have on budgets and creating long term deficits"
Representative Flynn presides as Co-Chair over the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations and feels the lack of access to information within executive offices of state agencies is a real issue. "The entire concept of limited government is to ensure that government is held accountable at every level," stated Flynn, "It has been brought to our attention that there is little relationship between transparency, accountability, and executive compensation within state agencies, and that can be a real problem. Why we do not hold accountable those individuals who not only receive a generous salary, but are supplemented even more generously from outside institutions, makes little sense and has the potential to create abuse of tax payer dollars."
The Transparency Committee held its first formal hearing Wednesday, March 6th. The committee invited State Auditor, John Keel, to testify and offer remarks regarding the process of executive compensation.
"I believe each member of the committee feels there needs to be a discussion going forward as to how the State of Texas plans to handle these concerns," stated Flynn. "The filing of these four bills, I feel, will do an excellent job of initiating dialogue on the topic."
Along with the four transparency bills, Representative Flynn filed a number of bills Friday morning that he feels address the concerns of his constituents as well as assist in cleaning up issues various state agencies requested be considered.