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Summary: In the past, Texas has implemented steps to make state prosecutors more professional. Provisions such as tying a state prosecutor's salary to the district judge's salary and prohibiting serving prosecutors from private law practice were contained in the Professional Prosecutor Act (Government Code Chapter 46). SB 268 adds Oldham County and the 287th Judicial District in Parmer and Bailey Counties to Chapter 46 of the Government Code.
Analysis: There are currently around eight prosecutors in Texas who are eligible but not subject to Chapter 46 of the Government Code. These prosecutors receive 80% of the district judge's salary. However, they can practice law privately. By putting a prosecutor under Chapter 46 of the Government Code, the prosecutor receives 100% of the district judge's salary but is prohibited from private law practice. Restricting a prosecutor from practicing law privately closes a loophole that may create a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest. We have supported several other similar bills this session. We support SB 268.