HB 444

86(R) - 2019
House State Affairs
Senate State Affairs
House State Affairs
Senate State Affairs
State Agencies

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Negative
  • Neutral


Morgan Meyer

Bill Caption

Relating to the criminal penalties for insider trading and other misuse of official information by public servants.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

HB 444 would increase the penalties for misuse of official information by a public servant dependent on the financial gain the offender received from the crime. If the offense results in financial gain of less than $150,000 it would be a third degree felony; if $150,000 or more, but less than $300,000 would be a second degree felony; and it would be a first degree felony the pecuniary gain was over $300,000. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

Texas Action opposes HB 444 because it violates the principle of limited government. This offense is currently a third degree felony which it is punishable by 2-10 years in prison. Adding a penalty ladder based upon the amount of pecuniary gain would not likely provide a further deterrent from engaging in this behavior. Neither the state nor society benefits from paying to keep someone incarcerated for 10-99 years for a non-violent crime, as this bill would require depending on which rung of the penalty ladder a defendant lands on. We should reserve lengthy prison sentences of this nature for people we are afraid of, not people we are mad at. 

Organizations Supporting

Lone Star Chapter Sierra Club