What is Chapter 176 of the Local Government Code?
Chapter 176 is an ethics law. Originally enacted by House Bill (HB) 914 in 2005, Chapter 176 requires local government officers to disclose certain relationships with vendors who conduct business with local government entities.

After the law was implemented, city officials and others realized that the law created several unintended consequences. Consequently, the bill’s author sought an opinion from the Texas attorney general to clarify many provisions of Chapter 176. The attorney general’s office released Opinion Number GA-0446, which concluded that legislative changes to the law were necessary. In response, the legislature passed HB 1491 during the 2007 regular legislative session. More recent amendments were made to Chapter 176 with the passage of HB 23 in the 2015 regular legislative session.

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1. What is Chapter 176 of the Local Government Code?
2. What local government entities are subject to this law?
3. What local government officers are subject to this law?
4. When is an officer required to file a “conflicts disclosure statement”?
5. How does Chapter 176 define a “vendor,” and what does it mean to have a “family relationship” with a vendor?
6. How does Chapter 176 define a “family member” of an officer?
7. To what types of contracts does the law apply?
8. When is a vendor required to file a “conflicts of interest questionnaire”?
9. With whom should the statements and questionnaires be filed?
10. What happens if a statement is not filed?