Reports From Your SREC - Blog

House Bill 281

HB 281:  Ban on taxpayer-funded lobbying

By Rep. Mayes Middleton

Relating to the use by a political subdivision of public money for lobbying activities.

Problem:

Under current law, political subdivisions may spend public funds to hire lobbyists for the purpose of supporting or opposing measures under consideration by the state legislature. According to the Texas Public Policy Foundation, local governments spent as much as $41 million to lobby the legislature in 2017 alone. Taxpayers and ratepayers of political subdivisions and special districts that hire lobbyists are forced to pay for lobby efforts of their jurisdiction, even if these efforts take positions contrary to their policy preferences. Given that the interests of citizens may differ from those of their local governments, citizens’ legislative lobby efforts toward state elected officials might be adversely affected by the distinct disadvantage they face when contending with the agenda of taxpayer-funded lobbyists hired by political subdivisions.
Furthermore, the state has the sovereign role of creating or chartering political subdivisions as well as dictating their powers, mandates, and prohibitions. The state also provides state funds to political subdivisions for the implementation of state policy at the specific direction of the legislature. Many consider lobbying of the state legislature by political subdivisions to represent a clear and unacceptable conflict of interest between the state and its local entities. Simply put, the government should not be allowed to lobby itself.
Moreover, many lobbyists participate in the political process through campaign contributions, fundraising, electioneering, and other political activities. The receipt of public dollars by these individuals presents the unseemly possibility that public funds could be used to directly or indirectly fund political activity.
Given the significant amount of state funds that most local entities receive and the state’s similar prohibition on lobbying by state agencies, the state has a compelling interest in extending this prohibition to political subdivisions.

Solution:

Ban all political subdivisions, including cities, counties, independent school districts, and special purpose districts, as well as other public entities such as regional mobility authorities and toll authorities from hiring lobbyists or paying dues to an association of similarly-situated entities which lobbies. Important caveats to the prohibition on local government lobbying include the explicit authorization of elected officers of a political subdivision to support or oppose measures under consideration by the legislature. Additionally, employees of a political subdivision may provide information at the request of a committee in the legislature on behalf of the political subdivision.

Result:

Under this change, political subdivisions would not be able to spend public money to influence the legislature. Furthermore, this legislation would prevent political subdivisions from hiring lobbyists for the purpose of influencing the outcome of measures under consideration by the legislature. Local elected officials would remain empowered to personally advocate on behalf of their jurisdiction before the legislature as a natural extension of their representative duty.
This legislation would protect taxpayers from being forced to fund lobby efforts contrary to their policy preferences or interests; taxpayers could also be certain that their tax dollars are not used to fund political activity.

Reports From Your SREC - Blog · Uncategorized

TX House Ways & Means Committee Members

Please call these committee members’ offices and let them know you want them to support HB2, Property Tax Reform!

Capitol Office numbers:

Chair:  Rep. Dustin Burrows     (512) 463-0542

Vice Chair: Rep. Ryan Guillen  (512)463-0416

Rep. Dwayne Bohac  (512)463-0727

Rep. Sheryl Cole  (512)463-0506

Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (512)463-0616

Rep. Jim Murphy  (512)463-0514

Rep. Candy Noble (512)463-0186

Rep. Eddie Rodriguez  (512)463-0674

Rep. Scott Sanford  (512)463-0356

Rep. Matt Shaheen  (512)463-0594

Rep. John Wray  (512)463-0516

Reports From Your SREC - Blog

TX House State Affairs Committee Members

Please call these committee members and let them know you want them to support Ending Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying, HB 281!

Capitol office numbers:

Chairman:  Rep. Dade Phelan  (512) 463-0706

Vice Chair: Rep. Ana Hernandez  (512) 463-0614

Rep. Joe Deshotel   (512) 463-0662

Rep. R. D. “Bobby” Guerra   (512) 463-0578

Rep. Sam Harless   (512) 463-0496

Rep. Justin Holland   (512) 463-0484

Rep. Todd Hunter  (512) 463-0672

Rep. Phil King  (512) 463-0738

Rep. Tan Parker  (972) 724-8477

Rep. Richard Peña Raymond  (512) 463-0558

Rep. Eddie Rodriguez  (512) 463-0674

Rep. John T. Smithee   (512) 463-0702

Rep. Drew Springer   (940) 580-1770

Reports From Your SREC - Blog

Feb. 27th House Ways & Means Committee Hearing Agenda

I encourage anyone who can to come testify in favor of HB 2, for Property Tax Reform.


House Committee on Ways & Means (C490)
Clerk: Paige Higerd    Phone: (512) 463-0822    Room: EXT E2.116

Hearing:   02/27/2019 8:00 AM

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

COMMITTEE:    Ways & Means

TIME & DATE:  8:00 AM, Wednesday, February 27, 2019

PLACE:       JHR 140
CHAIR:       Rep. Dustin Burrows

HB 2           Burrows
Relating to ad valorem taxation.
HB 705         Geren
Relating to the substitution of a county sales and use tax for all or a portion of property taxes imposed by the county; authorizing the imposition of a tax.
The order in which bills are heard is at the discretion of the chair.

Testimony will be limited to two (2) minutes.

Chair: Rep. Dustin Burrows
Vice Chair: Rep. Ryan Guillen
Members: Rep. Dwayne Bohac
Rep. Sheryl Cole
Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer
Rep. Jim Murphy
Rep. Candy Noble
Rep. Eddie Rodriguez
Rep. Scott Sanford
Rep. Matt Shaheen
Rep. John Wray
Reports From Your SREC - Blog

Feb. 27th State Affairs Committee Hearing Agenda

I encourage anyone who can to come testify in favor of HB 281, to End Taxpayer Funded Lobbying.


House Committee on State Affairs (C450)
Clerk: Kory Curtis    Phone: (512) 463-0814    Room: EXT E2.108

02/27/2019

10:30 AM or upon final adjourn./recess or bill referral if permission granted

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

COMMITTEE:    State Affairs

TIME & DATE:  10:30 AM or upon final adjourn./recess or bill referral if permission granted
Wednesday, February 27, 2019

PLACE:       E2.014
CHAIR:       Rep. Dade Phelan

HB 41          Metcalf | et al.
Relating to paid leave for a state employee who is a search and rescue volunteer.
HB 81          Canales | et al.
Relating to the disclosure under the public information law of certain information related to parades, concerts, or other entertainment events open to the general public that are paid for with public funds.
HB 125         Martinez
Relating to the online publication of home addresses of certain occupational license holders.
HB 147         Moody | et al.
Relating to access to certain law enforcement, corrections, and prosecutorial records under the public information law.
HB 234         Krause | et al.
Relating to the local regulation of the sale of lemonade or other beverages by children.
HB 281         Middleton
Relating to the use by a political subdivision of public money for lobbying activities.
HB 305         Paul
Relating to the requirement that a state agency or political subdivision with authority to impose a tax post certain information on an Internet website.
HB 382         Ortega | et al.
Relating to the authority to establish a customer assistance program for certain municipally owned utilities.
HB 433         Shaheen
Relating to the disclosure of public money spent by certain political subdivisions for lobbying activities in a comprehensive annual financial report.
HB 444         Meyer
Relating to the criminal penalties for insider trading and other misuse of official information by public servants.
HB 793         King, Phil | et al.
Relating to certain government contracts with companies that boycott Israel.
Events

Texas Faith & Family Day at the Capitol

Make a difference for faith and family in Texas!

March 13, 2019

Join us for an impactful day at the Texas Capitol where you will equip yourself with important information on religious freedom, marriage & family, parental rights, and pro-life issues, rally with like-minded Texans from across the state, and engage your elected officials in person – all during the important 86th Texas Legislative Session.

For more details and to register, go to https://www.texasfaithandfamily.com/

Featured Speakers:

David Bereit – 40 Days for Life Founder

Lt. Col. Allen West (Ret.) – Former Congressman

Schedule

Faith & Family Briefing Session

8:30 AM – 10:45 AM | Capitol Auditorium

Get important issue briefings from leading pro-family organizations and learn how to make an impact for family values during the legislative session.

Office Visits

11:00 AM – 11:30 AM | Capitol Building

After briefing session, you will have time to visit your legislators’ office, encourage them to support key legislation, and invite them to the Noon Rally.

Faith & Family Rally

12:00 PM – 12:45 PM | South Steps of the Capitol Building

Speakers: Lt. Col. Allen West (Ret.), David Bereit, Sen. Kelly Hancock, Rep. Matt Schaefer, Rep. Matt Shaheen, Rep. Candy Noble

Lunch

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM | Texas Capitol

Lunch and further office visits

 

For more details and to register, go to https://www.texasfaithandfamily.com/

Reports From Your SREC - Blog

Where to Look Up Official Answers

To see what bills were passed by the 85th Texas Legislature, go to:

https://webservices.sos.state.tx.us/legbills/index.aspx

To look up bills in the Texas legislature and see their status, go to:

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/MnuLegislation.aspx

To see the latest news directly from the Governor, go to:

https://gov.texas.gov/news

To see the latest news from the Republican Party of Texas, go to:

https://www.texasgop.org/category/news/

 

Events

Texas GOP Webinar: Using Texas Legislature Online & The Role of Conference Committees

April 18th at 7:00 PM

Join us for our fourth in a series of monthly educational webinars.  This session, which will present two webinars in one, is entitled “Using Texas Legislature Online” and “The Role of Conference Committees”.  In this presentation, you will see a real-time demonstration of the ins and outs of the Texas Legislature Online (TLO) website and its many functions. Learn how to track legislation, set up an alert list for key bills you want to follow, and much more.  We will also examine the role of conference committees in the final stages of a bill’s passage.

Click here to register!

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6668046922302291969