- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas House has passed a sweeping package of stricter ethics rules for state lawmakers and other elected officials - including mandating more financial disclosure for “dark money” groups.

Gov. Greg Abbott has championed ethics overhauls, and the measure already passed the Senate. But top House leaders called that version superficial and added its own rules, which it said were tougher.

Both seek to limit lawmakers’ becoming lobbyists immediately after leaving the Legislature. Before debate even began, though, the House stripped an unexpected Senate amendment mandating drug testing for all candidates for elected office.

The House version, which passed 96-48 late Tuesday, also requires more disclosure for dark money groups, or non-profits currently shielded from state financial disclosure rules.

It will now have to be reconciled with the Senate-approved bill.

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