TAC Legislative Conference

September 4 - 6, 2019

Fairmont Hotel Austin
101 Red River St
Austin, TX 78701

For more information, contact Haley Click or Deanna Auert at (800) 456-5974.

TAC Legislative Conference Focused on the Future

The 2019 Legislative Conference, set for Sept. 4-6 in Austin, offers county officials and staff an overview of the 86th legislative session and an opportunity to network with county officials from every office, plus legislators, and other experts about the issues that affect your county and your constituents.

Keynote Speaker

Evan Smith is the CEO and co-founder of The Texas Tribune, a pioneering nonprofit, nonpartisan digital news organization whose deep coverage of Texas politics and public policy can be found at its website, texastribune.org, in newspapers and on TV and radio stations across the state, and in the print and online editions of the Washington Post. Since its launch in 2009, the Tribune has won international acclaim and numerous honors, including a Peabody Award, sixteen national Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association and three general excellence awards from the Online News Association. Evan is also the host of “Overheard with Evan Smith,” a weekly half-hour interview program that airs on PBS stations around the country. Previously he spent nearly 18 years at Texas Monthly, including eight years as the magazine's editor and a year as its president and editor in chief.

Check back often for conference updates. Many county officials can also earn hours of required continuing education at the conference.

Registration Fees Early Fee After Aug. 12
County Official or Staff $230 $250
Half-Day Fee (Wednesday only) $75 $75
Single-Day Fee (Thursday only) $155 $155
Half-Day Fee (Friday only) $75 $75
Non-Member (government) $280 $300
Non-Member (corporate half-day, single day or full attendance) $430 $450
Spouse Event $30 $30

*Make checks payable to "Texas Association of Counties."

It Pays to Connect!

Contact your legislator​​​ today and invite them to join you at no cost at the 2019 Legislative Conference. The first county official to register with their legislator and have them attend, will be reimbursed for their conference registration fee.

To take advantage of this special offer, be the first to register your legislator and answer “Yes, my legislator is attending.” Enter their name on the registration form when prompted. Reimbursements will be given after the conference. For questions contact Haley Click or Deanna Auert

Special Services

To ensure that our conference is ADA accessible to all, please contact Deanna Auert at (800) 456-5974 if you need assistance.

TAC Legislative Conference Focused on the Future

Fairmont Hotel Austin
101 Red River St.
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 600-2000

$190 single/double, plus applicable tax
Check-in: 3pm | Check-out: Noon

  • Once your online registration is complete, your confirmation email will include a link to make hotel reservations.  Emails will be sent to the address on the registration form. 
  • Conference registration is required to reserve a hotel room in the conference block. The hotel will not accept any call-in reservations.
  • Hotel reservations made without conference registration are subject to cancellation or an increased hotel rate.
  • Hotel reservations must be secured by Aug. 12. After, all rooms are subject to availability and a price increase.
  • All reservations must be guaranteed by use of a major credit card. Cancellation of individual reservations made up to 24 hours prior to arrival will be accepted, and any deposit fully refunded.
  • If you must cancel a room reservation, please notify Deanna Auert​. In the event of a waitlist, this allows others an opportunity to stay at the host hotel.

*The Fairmont has extended the group rate three day prior to Sept. 2 and three days after Sept. 6.

Overnight Parking

Prices shown include a 25% discount for attendees.

  Valet Parking Self-Parking
0-3 Hours $15 $11.25
3-6 Hours $24 $17.25
Daily – Overnight $33.75 $24

*prices may change


Complimentary high-speed Internet access in guestroom and all areas of the hotel is complimentary for all Fairmont President Club Members. Membership is free! Sign up at www.faimont.com/fpc.

Wednesday, Sept. 4
8 a.m.-5 p.m. Registration Desk (level 5 foyer)
9 a.m. TAC Board of Directors Meeting
10 a.m.-noon Meet and Greet Exhibitors (Congressional Ballroom, level 3)
Noon Opening General Session Lunch (Manchester Ballroom, level 5)
1-3:30 p.m. Opening General Session #254Strong (Manchester Ballroom, level 5)

Keynote Speaker: Evan Smith, CEO and co-founder of The Texas Tribune
3:30-5 p.m. Welcome Reception (Congressional Ballroom, level 3)
Thursday, Sept. 5
7 a.m.-5 p.m. Registration Desk Hours (Manchester Foyer)
7-8 a.m. Breakfast (Manchester A-D)
8-9:30 a.m. County Affiliate Organization Meetings
County official organizations host a 1.5 hour meeting to discuss legislative issues or association business during the conference.
9 a.m.-3:20 p.m. Exhibit Hall Hours (Congressional Ballroom, level 3)
9:30-9:50 a.m. Refreshment break (Congressional Ballroom, level 3)
9:50-10:55 a.m. Legislative Discussion Sessions

Behavorial Health Funding: The New Role for Counties

A discussion on the current and future trends in addressing behavioral health. Local officials will discuss the county role under the cap. Additionally, we will look at the DSRIP 1115 waiver as it expires and state trends in addressing behavioral health.

Texas' Priorities: Are You One of Them? Understanding the Texas State Budget
If you want to know the state’s priorities, look no further than the State budget. The document indicates where the legislature has appropriated roughly $250 billion. Come review the budget process, programs that may be of interest, and receive some resources to help better understand and track the shaping of the 2022-23 budget.

Texas Court Structure: Creating More Effective and Efficient Courts
Texas counties fund and support much of the state's judicial system. Join us for a deeper look into how the courts interact with each other and how all levels of the judiciary collaborated to create successful policy this legislative session.

Revamping and Reinventing Disaster Response
Following Hurricane Harvey, it was evident that disaster response and recovery must improve to arm local communities with better procedures prior to and after major events happening. Your county voice was heard and positively affected many disaster-related bills passed during the 86th Legislature. You'll learn what is now in place to help with financial assistance, pre-approved debris removal contracts, training and more.

Federal Update: The Outlook for Counties
A wide range of federal policy issues affect Texas counties, including infrastructure, disaster mitigation and recovery, and county jail inmate health care. It remains important to stay up-to-date and engaged as these issues develop. Join representatives of the National Association of Counties (NACo) to learn the latest from Washington on some of the most significant issues and how they may impact your county.
10:55-11:15 a.m. Refreshment break (Congressional Ballroom, level 3)
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Legislative Discussion Sessions (repeat)
12:20-1:50 p.m. Networking Lunch (Manchester A-D)
1:50-2:55 p.m. Legislative Discussion Sessions

Future of Voting in Texas

Hear from the experts on what's in store for voting in Texas. Learn what the legislators proposed and passed during the legislative session to address how voter's will vote at the polling place. You'll also learn what will be required of local governments to protect the integrity of elections.

Criminal Justice Reforms: A Look Back and A Look Ahead
Learn about criminal justice reform legislation and initiatives from experts in the Legislature and in the field. Join the discussion on significant criminal justice matters regarding where we've been, where we are going, and what it all means for counties.

Transparency in Your Taxes: Keeping the Public Informed
Transparency, timelines and triggers — shaking up the property tax system. Join us for a deep dive into new reporting and public notice requirements for taxing units, what the legislature proposed, what passed, and what you should expect moving forward.

When the Rain Comes: Flood Planning and Mitigation
Our state has long experienced a cycle of droughts and flooding. In order to mitigate the impact of episodic flooding, the Legislature has developed a state flood plan. Established on a regional, watershed basis, the plan requires close cooperation between and among local governments to plan, prepare, and respond to flood events. Learn more about the flood plan from some of its chief architects.

2020 Census and Redistricting
The 2020 Census is just around the corner. Take a sneak peek at what the experts expect the Census will reveal about our growing state. With that foundation established, the discussion will shift to redistricting and how it will impact your county.
2:55-3:20 p.m. Ice Cream Social (Congressional Ballroom, level 3)
3:20-4:25 p.m. Legislative Discussion Sessions (repeat)
4:30-6 p.m. The Reception (Palm Park, 7th floor)
A celebration in recognition of those county officials who've volunteered their time and expertise to advocate on behalf of counties before the Legislature and protect local government. Thank you for your efforts!
Friday, Sept. 6
8-10:30 a.m. Registration Desk Hours (Manchester Foyer, level 5)
8:30-9 a.m. Breakfast (Manchester Ballroom, level 5)
9-10:30 a.m. Closing General Session (Manchester Ballroom, level 5)

Property Tax Reform and Relief: Looking into the Interim
Property tax reform and relief, along with school finance reform, drove the agenda for the 86th Legislature. In this session, we will discuss the changes that took place to the property tax system, how counties can best prepare to handle those changes, and how we can tell the county story to our citizens, the public, and the Legislature regarding the consequences of those changes.
Garry Merritt, Legal & Legislative Services Director & General Counsel
Rick Thompson, Senior Legislative Manager - CJCA

*Agenda is subject to change

Application for continuing education credit is submitted to each governing body listed below. Upon approval, the number of continuing education hours will be posted. Please check back often for updates.

Continuing Education Type Hours
CPA/Auditors Pending
Commissioners Pending
County and District Clerks Pending
PHRs and SPHRS Pending
Purchasing Agents Pending
Sheriffs & Constables (TCOLE) 9
Tax Assessor-Collectors Pending
Treasurers Pending
Attorneys (MCLE) Pending

Conference Cancellation:

All cancellation and refund requests must be received in writing (fax or email acceptable). Refunds requested before Aug. 23 are subject to a $10 processing fee. Refunds after Aug. 23 will be subject to an administrative fee equal to one-half of the registration fee. No refund requests will be honored after Sept. 13. Please email Deanna Auert or fax (512) 477-1324 to cancel your conference registration.​

Hotel Cancellation:

If you must cancel a room reservation, please notify Deanna Auert​. In the event of a waitlist, this allows others an opportunity to stay at the host hotel.

Your Connection to Texas Counties

Register today to strengthen your connections and expand personal relationships with county officials in your district. You're invited to the most comprehensive and valuable conference in county government – every county office is represented at this event!

We offer you:

  • Two complimentary registrations with an invitation to attend the conference reception on Thursday, Sept. 5, from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
  • Your Constituents – Upon request, we’ll send a custom list of YOUR pre-registered constituents.
  • Private Meeting Space – With your registration, we offer the opportunity to visit privately with your constituents attending the conference. There will be six time slots available to host an exclusive meeting with attendees from your district. Space is limited, Register today to choose the time and date most convenient to you or reserve the space with Haley ClickGarry Merritt or Rick Thompson to learn more.


Garry Merritt, General Counsel and Director of Legislative
Rick Thompson, Senior Legislative Manager
Haley Click, Education Program Manager
TAC Office, (512) 478-8753 or (800) 456-5974

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, Sept. 4
Noon-1 p.m. Welcome Lunch
1-3:30 p.m. Opening General Sessions
3:30-5 p.m. Reception
4-5 p.m. Exclusive Meeting for Legislators and County Officials (3 rooms)
Hospitality Provided
Thursday, Sept. 5
8-9:30 a.m. County Affiliate Organization Meetings
9:50 a.m.-4:25 p.m. Discussion Times
12:20-1:50 p.m. Exclusive Meeting for Legislators and County Officials (3 rooms)
Meal Provided
3-4:30 p.m. County Affiliate Organization Meetings
4:30-6:30 p.m. The Reception
Friday, Sept. 6
9-10:30 a.m. Closing General Sessions


Your Connection to County Government


Please complete a sponsorship packet or contact Haley Click for sponsorship opportunities.​​ Sponsorships over $1500 include a complimentary exhibit booth.


Please visit the County Progress website​ or contact Sarah Lazarowitz for vendor registration.

Join us in Austin this September as 800+ Texas county officials and staff gather. This is a prime opportunity to display your goods and services to decision-makers in county government.

Booth Specifications

Your $700 registration fee includes a standard booth, registration for two and access to two sleeping rooms at the host hotel.

Hotel reservations must be made through Sarah Lazarowitz when booth registration is set up. Company representatives are welcome to attend all conference activities.

A standard exhibit booth consists of a 10’x10’ exhibit space and will be equipped with 8’ back drape, 3’ side dividers, 6’ skirted table, 2 chairs and standard ID sign.

Schedule of Events

Tuesday, Sept. 3
1-4 p.m. Vendor Move-in
Wednesday, Sept. 4
10 a.m.-noon Dedicated Time with Exhibitors
1-3:30 p.m. Opening General Sessions (Exhibit Hall Closed)
3:30-5:30 p.m. Exhibit Hall Welcome Reception
Thursday, Sept. 5
8-9:30 a.m. County Association Meetings
9 a.m.-3:20 p.m. Exhibit Hall Hours
9:50 a.m.-4:25 p.m. Legislative Discussion Sessions
3:30 p.m. Exhibit Hall Break Downs
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