TAC Legislative Conference

August 26 - 28, 2020

Virtual Conference

The wellbeing and safety of TAC's members is our first priority. In responding to calls for slowing the spread of COVID-19, we have transformed the TAC Legislative Conference, scheduled for Aug. 26-28 in Austin, into a virtual event.

For more information contact Deanna Auert or Nino Miranda at (800) 456-5974.

 Join us for the first time in TAC Legislative Conference history, Aug. 26-28, as we explore a new way to help you and your county prepare for the 87th Legislative Session. This year's conference will be the same premiere event we have been planning, just transformed into a virtual experience. The event will be packed with insights from subject matter experts and offer solutions and ideas on how to better navigate the challenges Texas is currently facing. In addition to participating in insightful discussions about county government's most pressing issues, conference attendees will have the chance to virtually network with colleagues, lawmakers and subject matter experts, in hopes to build professional connections and foster existing relationships.

Once you have registered for the virtual event, you will receive a personalized participation link to the virtual conference emailed to you a few days before the start of the program.

Access to Virtual Event via Internet

Attendees will need access to the internet to login and join the virtual event. While almost all internet browsers (Google Chrome, Firefox, etc.) should allow the event to be accessed, we've found that it works most smoothly in Google Chrome, as other browsers may experience issues. Internet Explorer is not a supported browser for the event. Google Chrome is a free download, however, some counties' IT departments may require that your staff gains approval prior to being able to download new software.

Registration Type Registration Fee
County Official or Staff $100
Make checks payable to "Texas Association of Counties"

Virtual Exhibit Hall

Join us for the first time as we explore a new way for exhibitors to share information about their products and services, showcase their latest innovations, and connect with you, the decision-makers in county government. Our virtual exhibit hall will provide you with unprecedented access to companies as they look for products and solutions to help you meet your county's needs.

Special Services

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

All rooms reservations made in the group block at the Fairmont Hotel have been cancelled.

Wednesday, Aug. 26
12-2 p.m. Meet and Greet Exhibitors
1-2 p.m. Core Legislative Group Meeting
Moderator: Ms. Rhita Koches, Core Legislative Group Coordinator, Texas Association of Counties
2-4 p.m. Opening General Session
Taking Texas Forward

This year emergency management was seen on a grand scale at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic. How well did the state respond and work together with local governments to carry out the necessary response plans here at home? Hear from experts about how local partnership between the state and counties have grown and become an integral part of any emergency management operation.
Moderator: Mr. Noe Barrios, Director of Legislative Services - Sheriffs' Association, Texas Association of Counties
4-4:10 p.m. Break
4:10-5:15 p.m. Legislative Discussion Sessions (Concurrent Sessions)

COVID-19 and the Texas Healthcare System How well did the state's healthcare system hold up during the COVID-19 pandemic, and where did this leave counties? This session will discuss important healthcare issues created by the pandemic, including access to care, supplies and timely information. Hear from experienced local leaders about how they manage the many challenges of the ongoing health crisis.
Moderator: Mr. Rick Thompson, Legislative Consultant – County Judges and Commissioners Association, Texas Association of Counties
Speakers: Hon. John C. Howard, M.D., Donley County Judge
Mr. Eduardo Olivarez, Chief Administrative Officer, Hidalgo County Health and Human Services

COVID-19 Grant Resources Roundtable
Texas counties are on the frontlines of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and have experienced related revenue losses and increased expenditures. Learn about the various grants available to counties to offset the budget impact of the pandemic through the Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act and other fiscal relief measures.
Moderator: Ms. Zelma Smith, Financial Analyst, Texas Association of Counties
Speakers: Mr. Mark Ritacco, Deputy Director of Government Affairs, National Association of Counties
Ms. Robin Knipling, Grants Administrator, Victoria County
Hon. Tramer Woytek, Judicial Resource Liaison, Texas Association of Counties
5:15-6:15 p.m. Visit the Exhibit Hall
Thursday, Aug. 27
8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Visit the Exhibit Hall
8:30-9:35 a.m. Legislative Discussion Sessions (Concurrent Sessions)

TAC's Federal Outreach Initiative
Texas county government has a presence in Washington, D.C., though the efforts of the National Association of Counties (NACo). TAC's leadership is committed to continuing and expanding the Association's partnership with NACo and to expanding its direct relationships and communications with the members of the Texas congressional delegation. Hear from NACo staff and TAC leadership and staff about these efforts.
Moderator: Mr. Paul Sugg, Legislative Consultant - Auditors's Association, Texas Association of Counties
Speaker(s): Hon. Renee Couch, Texas Association of Counties Board of Directors President; Comal County Treasurer
Mr. Matt Chase, Executive Director, National Association of Counties
Hon. Glen Whitley, Tarrant County Judge
Hon. Jason Brinkley, Cooke County Judge


Behavioral Health during a Crisis, Taking Care of Yourself and Your Community
During the 86th Legislative Session, lawmakers allocated a historical amount of funding to behavioral health initiatives. However, the COVID-19 pandemic brought new challenges to the way the state handles those suffering from mental and substance use issues. Join us for a discussion on how behavioral health impacts not only your community, but you as a leader. Learn the best practices for mitigating behavioral health crises during a disaster, managing your own emotional state and what resources are available from the state and federal government.
Moderator: Ms. Kelsey Bernstein, Legislative Consultant – Justices of the Peace & Constables Association, Texas Association of Counties
Speakers: Dr. Andy Keller, President and CEO, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute
Representative Garnet Coleman, Chair, Texas House Committee on County Affairs, Texas House of Representatives
9:35-9:55 a.m. Break with Exhibitors
9:55-11 a.m. Legislative Discussion Sessions (Concurrent Sessions)

Senate Bill 2
A conversation about the basics of Senate Bill 2 and how counties are coping with it in the wake of COVID-19.
Moderator: Mrs. Katy Estrada, Legislative Consultant - Tax Assessor - Collectors' Association, Texas Association of Counties
Speakers: Hon Nathan Cradduck, Tom Green County Auditor
Hon. Jennifer Henderson, Schleicher County Treasurer


Law Enforcement Response to  COVID-19
Moderator: Mr. Noe Barrios, Director of Legislative Services - Sheriffs' Association, Texas Association of Counties
Speakers: TBD
11-11:20 a.m. Break with Exhibitors
11:20 a.m.-12:25 p.m. Legislative Discussion Sessions (Concurrent Sessions)

Gearing Up For  The November  2020 Election
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 general election will be unprecedented. Adhering to health and safety standards poses challenges, but county election officials are up to the task. Join us in discussing and learning what local governments can do to put safeguards in place to protect voters, poll workers and polling places.
Moderator: Ms. Nanette Forbes, Legislative Consultant - County & Districts Clerks' Association, Texas Association of Counties
Speakers: Ms. Christina Adkins, Legal Director - Elections Division, Office of the Secretary of State
Hon. Heather Hawthorne, Chambers County Clerk, Elections Legislative Chair; County and District Clerks Association of Texas
Mr. Chris Davis, Elections Administrator, Williamson County; Legislative Chair, Texas Association of Election Administrators

The 2020 Census and Redistricting in a COVID-19 World  Information for the 2020 Census is still being collected. Get a head start with a quick look at what the 2020 Census is expected to reveal about our growing state. With this information in hand, we'll look at the redistricting process and discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the process.
Moderator: Mr. Tim Brown, Senior Analyst, Texas Association of Counties
Speakers: Mr. Robert T. Bass, Partner, Allison, Bass & Magee, LLP
Dr. Lloyd Potter, Texas State Demographer, Texas Demographic Center
12:25-1:30 p.m. Visit the Exhibit Hall
1:30-3:30 p.m. County Association Meetings
County associations organize and host a meeting to discuss legislative issues or association business during the conference.
  • Texas District & County Attorneys Association
  • Texas Association of County Auditors
  • County and District Clerks’ Association of Texas
  • County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas
  • Justices of the Peace & Constables Association of Texas
  • Sheriffs’ Association of Texas
  • Tax Assessor-Collectors Association of Texas
  • County Treasurers’ Association of Texas
Friday, Aug. 28
8 a.m.-noon Exhibit Hall Open
8:30-9:35 a.m. Legislative Discussion Sessions (Concurrent Sessions)

Emergency Management: What Should I Know Today?
Staying ahead of the curve – that’s the most important step in preparing for any natural or man-made emergency or disaster in Texas. What local plans should be in place and how much local authority does a county really have? What rules exist for disaster response assistance? Come learn about the processes and partnerships of emergency preparedness and share the best practices you acquired from responding to past emergencies.
Moderators: Ms. Aurora Flores, Legislative Consultant - Treasurers' Association, Texas Association of Counties
Mr. Rick Thompson, Legislative Consultant – County Judges and Commissioners Association, Texas Association of Counties
Speakers: Hon. Brian Hawthorne, Chambers County Sheriff
Hon. Trey Duhon III, Waller County Judge
Hon. Jerry M. Bearden, Mason County Judge

Court Systems Moving Into the Future
Join us for a discussion about how courts across the state are managing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hear from subject matter experts about telehearings, increases in civil docket filings, criminal caseloads, potential legislation and best practices for moving forward. 
Moderator: Ms. Kelsey Bernstein, Legislative Consultant – Justices of the Peace and Constables' Association, Texas Association of Counties
Speakers:  Representative Jeff Leach, Chairman House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence, Texas House of Representatives,
Mr. David Slayton, Administrative Director, Office of Court Administration
Hon. Emily Miskel, 470th District Court Judge, Collin County
Hon. Karen Diaz, San Patricio County Justice of the Peace
9:35-9:45 a.m. Break
9:45-11:15 a.m. Closing General Session
The Frontliners - COVID-19 County Official Panel Discussion
Soon after Texas logged its first case of COVID-19 on March 4, counties across the state moved to slow the spread of the virus while continuing to serve the public. Join this session to hear local leaders talk about their experiences as they continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. The session will highlight solutions and suggestions derived from the conference’s previous legislative discussion sessions.
Moderator: Mr. Rick Thompson, Legislative Consultant – County Judges and Commissioners Association, Texas Association of Counties
Speakers: Hon. Trey Duhon III, Waller County Judge
Hon. Jerry Bearden, Mason County Judge
Hon. Brian Hawthorne, Chambers County Sheriff
11:15 a.m.-noon Visit the Exhibitors

*Agenda is subject to change

Applications for continuing education credit are 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 11.5
Commissioners Not Approved by County Judges & Commissioners Association of Texas (CJCA)
County and District Clerks Pending
PHRs and SPHRs 11.5
Purchasing Agents 11.5
Sheriffs & Constables (TCOLE) Not Approved by Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE)
Tax Assessor-Collectors Pending
Treasurers 11.5
Attorneys (MCLE) Pending

Conference Cancellation

All cancellation and refund requests must be received in writing (fax or email acceptable). Refunds requested before Aug. 14 are subject to a $10 processing fee. Refunds after Aug. 14 will be subject to an administrative fee equal to one-half of the registration fee. No refund requests will be honored after Sept. 4. Please email Nino Miranda or fax (512) 477-1324 to cancel your conference registration.​

Your Connection to County Government

Join us for the first time in TAC Legislative Conference history as we explore a new way to promote your company's products and services to the decision-makers in county government. You'll gain unprecedented access to county officials and staff as they look for products and solutions to meet their county's needs. Our virtual exhibit hall will provide you with a space to house your branding, video, power point slides and documents of your choosing that will be accessible to all of our conference attendees.

Increasing your company's visibility doesn't have to end there.

TAC's unparalleled sponsorship program is designed to provide more exposure and maximum recognition to sponsors – before, during and after the conference. The program helps organizations raise their profile with Texas county officials and their staff. The event is expected to draw hundreds of county officials and staff from across the state for professional development and networking.

  • ENHANCE your company's visibility.
  • PROMOTE name recognition among county officials and staff.
  • DEMONSTRATE your support for county government.

Sponsors

The virtual sponsorship package is $1,500.

Sponsorship benefits include:

  • Company name and logo printed in conference program.
  • Company name and logo displayed on event home page.
  • Recognition during opening session.
  • Full conference attendee list (full name and company name) one week prior to the conference.
  • Increased visibility and accessibility in the online exhibit hall, with all the exhibitor booth benefits.
  • Access for up to 10 registrations (logins) to attend the virtual conference sessions and the ability to interact throughout the live event.
  • And much more!

NEW this year! Sponsors can now complete paperwork and pay with a credit card online! Please see the bottom of this page for further instructions.

Contact Deanna Auert for sponsorship questions.

Cancellations

Sponsorship cancellations must be made in writing before July 24, 2020 to receive a 50% refund. Any sponsorship that requires a company logo to be printed on a promotional item or on multiple print pieces will be final upon receipt of payment and cancellations are not permitted. Sponsors cancelling after July 2 are responsible for payment in full or may jeopardize future sponsorship opportunities.

Vendors

Become an exhibitor this year from the comfort of your own home or office.

Registration for the virtual exhibit hall is $550.

Exhibitor registration includes:

  • Virtual 'booth space' in the online exhibit hall with custom logo upload and company description.
  • Company listing in the conference program.
  • Full conference attendee list (full name and company name) one week prior to the conference.
  • Access for 2 registrations (logins) to attend the virtual conference sessions and the ability to interact throughout the live event.
  • One-on-one chat abilities to create engagement with attendees.
  • Ability to upload video content as well as sales/product materials to share with those visiting your booth.
  • And much more!

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

Schedule of Events:

*Agenda Subject to Change

Wednesday, Aug. 26
Noon-2 p.m. Exhibit Hall Open
2-5:15 p.m. Opening General Session & Legislative Discussion Scenarios
5:15-6:15 p.m. Exhibit Hall Open
Thursday, Aug. 27
8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Exhibit Hall Open
8:30 a.m.-12:25 p.m. Legislative Discussion Sessions
Friday, Aug. 28
8 a.m.-noon Exhibit Hall Open
8:30-11:15 a.m. Legislative Discussion Sessions & Closing General Session

Welcome to TAC's New Membership Portal

First, log-in to the TAC member portal located in the top right corner of the TAC homepage. Next, locate the 2020 Legislative Conference in the Calendar of Events and click register. Then, choose sponsorship opportunities to add your preferred sponsorship options. Once the registration is complete, Deanna Auert will follow up to confirm and get your company graphics.

First-Time Users

  • Click "Forgot username?"
  • Enter your email address and click "Submit."
  • Check your inbox for a TAC email with your username and logon instructions.

If you receive a message that your email address cannot be found:

  • Click "Create a new account."
  • Enter required fields*.
  • Click "Save."

Return Users

Log in with your username (email address) and password.

Registration Assistance

For more information, please contact Deanna Auert at (800) 456-5974.

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