By Tim Brown
CIP Senior Analyst
Legislators began early filing bills last month and fiscal note requests soon followed.
Fiscal notes tell legislators what financial impact they can expect from a bill. And, a fiscal note must be prepared before they can hear a bill in committee. Due to the large number of bills anticipated in a session, the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) takes three steps to handle their fiscal note workload.
First, they don’t produce a fiscal note for every bill. During the session, for most bills, the LBB waits until it is almost certain the bill will be heard and then they start on the fiscal note.
Second, they begin working in December on important and hot issue bills that are pre-filed.
Third, the LBB will only contact those entities, state agencies or local governments that will be affected by the bill. For local government input, the LBB avoids contacting all 254 counties – they generally obtain their information from a sampling of counties or from a representative organization such as the Texas Association of Counties.
The LBB has already contacted TAC for assistance on several bills this December. While TAC can sometimes respond directly, county officials are key to providing accurate and timely information for fiscal notes throughout the session. When TAC sends out requests to county officials, we try to spread them around so that we don’t go to the same well too often. If you feel you have something to say about a bill, you can always send the fiscal impact information to TAC without waiting for us to contact you. We will never complain about receiving too much information about a bill!
To provide fiscal impact information, please contact or or call (800) 456-5974.