Private attorney contract transparency bill moves to full Senate

Legal gavel with cash and law book

A bill to bring more accountability and transparency to taxpayer dollars by capping the amount of contingency fees collected by private attorneys for government work passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously Thursday and was placed on consent.

Rep. Jason Nemes, the sponsor of House Bill 198, said in his testimony to the committee that the bill would simply ensure the hiring of outside counsel by the state’s attorney general is necessary for a case and change the fee structure and add more transparency to guarantee taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.

Nemes stated the bill is not an attack on the office of the attorney general but rather adds accountability and improves the state’s legal liability climate. He stated that the bill, with an amendment in the House, now applies to all government branches.

The bill passed out of committee with a committee substitute that amends the bill to put contracts under the model procurement code.

House Bill 198 now moves to the full Senate for a vote on the floor.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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