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Texas Pols Might Have to Show Up for Work

AUSTIN (CN) - Elected officials in Texas may have to show up for work "on a regular basis," if a state representative gets his way.

State Rep. James White, R-Woodville, is sponsoring a bill that would amend the Texas Government Code to require elected officers to "be physically present on a regular basis at a location at which official business of the jurisdiction served by the officer is ordinarily conducted."

These elected officers would include the state judges who sit on the Texas Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals, the 14 Courts of Appeals and all district courts.

The bill also requires elected officers to "perform all duties of the office for as long as the officer holds the office."

White told Texas Lawyer magazine he did not especially have judges in mind when he wrote the bill. He said his issue is with officials who lose their re-election races and then show up "sparingly."

"We want to make sure that the people are getting what they paid for," White told Texas Lawyer.

He said the Legislature is "working though" how his bill would be enforced.

"We don't want this to become a free-for-all to get people out of office and bypass the electoral process," he said.

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