H.B. No. 677
  relating to violations of laws administered and enforced by the
  Texas Ethics Commission and to sworn complaints alleging such
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter C, Chapter 571, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 571.0631 to read as follows:
  VIOLATIONS. The commission shall adopt rules prescribing
  procedures for investigating and resolving technical and clerical
  violations of laws within the commission's jurisdiction.  For
  registrations and reports filed under Chapter 305, the commission
  shall consider clerical violations to include obvious
  typographical errors. A registrant filing a registration or report
  under Chapter 305 may correct obvious typographical errors without
  penalty by filing either a corrected registration or report or an
  updated or amended registration or report.
         SECTION 2.  Section 571.122, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (b-1) to read as follows:
         (b-1)  To be eligible to file a sworn complaint with the
  commission, an individual must be a resident of this state or must
  own real property in this state. A copy of one of the following
  documents must be attached to the complaint:
               (1)  the complainant's driver's license or personal
  identification certificate issued under Chapter 521,
  Transportation Code, or commercial driver's license issued under
  Chapter 522, Transportation Code;
               (2)  a utility bill, bank statement, government check,
  paycheck, or other government document that:
                     (A)  shows the name and address of the
  complainant; and
                     (B)  is dated not more than 30 days before the date
  on which the complaint is filed; or
               (3)  a property tax bill, notice of appraised value, or
  other government document that:
                     (A)  shows the name of the complainant;
                     (B)  shows the address of real property in this
  state; and
                     (C)  identifies the complainant as the owner of
  the real property.
         SECTION 3.  Subchapter E, Chapter 571, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 571.142 to read as follows:
         Sec. 571.142.  LIABILITY FOR RESPONDENT'S COSTS. (a) This
  section applies only to a sworn complaint if:
               (1)  the complaint was filed after the 30th day before
  the date of an election;
               (2)  the respondent is a candidate in the election; and
               (3)  the complaint alleges a violation other than a
  technical or clerical violation.
         (b)  If, in disposing of a sworn complaint to which this
  section applies, the commission determines that a violation within
  the commission's jurisdiction has not occurred, the complainant is
  liable for the respondent's reasonable and necessary attorney's
  fees and other costs incurred in defending against the complaint.
         (c)  This section does not apply to a sworn complaint
  regarding a reporting omission required by law.
         SECTION 4.  Section 571.122, Government Code, as amended by
  this Act, and Section 571.142, Government Code, as added by this
  Act, apply only to a sworn complaint filed with the Texas Ethics
  Commission on or after September 1, 2009.
         SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2009.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I certify that H.B. No. 677 was passed by the House on April
  28, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 107, Nays 36, 2 present, not
  voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
  No. 677 on May 29, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 129, Nays 2, 1
  present, not voting.
  Chief Clerk of the House   
         I certify that H.B. No. 677 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 26, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 30, Nays
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________