County Issues

Elimination of Straight Party Voting

September 14, 2020| Legislative News

In 2017, the 85th Legislature passed House Bill 25 by Rep. Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton) eliminating straight party voting, beginning on Sept. 1, 2020.

Legislative Appropriations Request Instructions for the 2022-23 Biennium Released

September 14, 2020| Legislative News

The Legislative Appropriations Request (LAR) instructions for the 2022-23 biennial budget are available on the Governor's and Legislative Budget Board’s websites. No additional reductions in funding, beyond the 5% reduction plans required by state leaders in May 2020, are required.

Reminder: UFM Survey Due by Nov. 5

September 14, 2020| Legislative News

The Unfunded Mandates (UFM) Survey is important to all 254 counties. The ability to show legislators the impact that their decisions continue to have on county finances is critical.

Protective Order Registry Now in Pilot Phase

September 14, 2020| Legislative News

Senate Bill 325, passed during the 86th Legislature and sponsored by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) and Rep. Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa), launched a state Protective Order Registry.

Texas Indigent Defense Commission Presents Improvement Grants to Five Counties

September 14, 2020| Legislative News

On Aug. 27, the Texas Indigent Defense Commission (TIDC) awarded more than $5 million in grants for fiscal year 2021 to Kerr, Atascosa, Galveston, McLennan and Nueces counties.

TxDOT County Transportation Infrastructure Fund Grant Program Update

September 14, 2020| Legislative News

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) recently held a webinar to clarify the process for accessing the County Transportation Infrastructure Fund (CTIF) Grant Program funds.

Justice Court Civil Jurisdiction Increases to $20,000

September 14, 2020| Legislative News

Effective September 1, 2020, the civil jurisdiction limit (amount in controversy) for justice courts has increased from $10,000 to $20,000.

Future of the Driver License Program Is Pending

September 14, 2020| Legislative News

The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Transportation Research (CTR) has completed its study and released its findings and recommendations regarding the future of the driver licensing program in Texas. Last session, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 616 by Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury), requiring the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to contract with a third-party vendor to study the program and the problems that have plagued it for many years.

TAC’s Legislative Programs Go Virtual

September 14, 2020| Legislative News

The Texas Association of Counties' (TAC) regional Legislative Exchange events provide an opportunity for county officials to come together and discuss legislative issues of importance to county government with their legislators and the TAC Legislative staff.

Legislative Conference Opens on a Virtual High Note

September 14, 2020| Legislative News

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone in unbelievable ways. A year ago, we couldn’t have imagined that we’d be where we are today. And we certainly all grieve over the cost in lives and livelihoods lost in getting to this point.

AG Opinions and Requests

September 14, 2020| Legislative News

TAC has highlighted recent attorney general opinions and requests for opinions of interest to counties.

Comptroller Announces Revised State Revenue Estimate

July 27, 2020| Legislative News

County officials should prepare for a difficult legislative session as the state grapples with a looming budget crisis. With so many unknowns such as the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, declining sales tax revenue and doubts regarding the future of oil and gas prices, budget writers will have their hands full.

Reminder: TAC Unfunded Mandates Survey Moves Forward

July 27, 2020| Legislative News

As of July 21, 15 counties had completed the 2020 Unfunded Mandates Survey.

JPCA Hosts Successful Virtual Conference

July 27, 2020| Legislative News

To protect the health and safety of attendees, the Justices of the Peace & Constables Association of Texas (JPCA) took its 76th annual conference online last month. The association was one of the first organizations to move to a virtual platform, and the conference proved to be a success.

State Responds to Rising COVID-19 Case Counts

July 27, 2020| Legislative News

Since June, Texas has continued to see an increase in the number of daily coronavirus cases, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). The department tracks confirmed case counts by county, and the information is available on the DSHS dashboard.

Latest on the State’s 5% Reduction Plan and its Impact on Counties

July 27, 2020| Legislative News

TAC staff continues to monitor the 5% reduction plan laid out by state leadership that directs state agencies and institutions of higher education to identify savings to offset state revenue losses due to the pandemic and declining oil prices.

County Tax Offices Adjust to COVID-19 Conditions

July 27, 2020| Legislative News

As Texas began to shut down, tax offices were faced with tough decisions about how to operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tax assessor-collectors quickly examined the situation and made decisions based on the needs in their counties. Some tax offices closed completely to the public, continuing to process mail-in and online submissions, and others offered drive-through options where possible.

Digital License Plates

July 27, 2020| Legislative News

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recently adopted agency rules for the issuance and usage of digital license plates. During the 86th Legislature, House Bill 1711 as filed by Rep. Chris Paddie, R-Marshall, allowed digital license plates to be used in lieu of regular plates on vehicles.

Details Set for Aug. 26-28 Virtual Legislative Conference

July 27, 2020| Legislative News

TAC’s 2020 Legislative Conference, set for Aug. 26-28, will help county officials and staff prepare for and become engaged in the upcoming 87th session of the Texas Legislature.

AG Opinions and Requests

July 27, 2020| Legislative News

TAC has highlighted recent attorney general opinions and requests for opinions of interest to counties.

TAC Surveying Counties on Costs of Unfunded Mandates Ahead of Next Legislative Session

June 26, 2020| Legislative News

On June 9, the Texas Association of Counties (TAC) sent the 2020 Unfunded Mandates Survey to county auditors and, in those counties that do not have auditors, to county treasurers. The survey asks about county expenditures from unfunded and underfunded mandates.

Governor Pauses Reopening Texas Plans

June 26, 2020| Legislative News

The following information, based on instructions from all of Gov. Abbott’s current executive orders, is valid as of noon, June 26.

July Runoff Elections Set Stage for November

June 26, 2020| Legislative News

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 primary runoff and general elections will be unprecedented. Adhering to health and safety standards poses challenges, but county election officials are up to the task.

2020 TAC Legislative Conference Goes Virtual

June 26, 2020| Legislative News

The Texas Association of Counties (TAC) prioritizes the safety and wellbeing of our members. In responding to calls for slowing the spread of COVID-19, we have transformed the 2020 TAC Legislative Conference, scheduled for Aug. 26-28 in Austin, into a virtual event.

Nearly $1.2B Available for Mitigation Projects

June 26, 2020| Legislative News

The application process is underway for the first round of funds available for eligible mitigation projects to protect Texas communities hit by Hurricane Harvey and severe flooding in 2015 and 2016.


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