County Issues

Week in Review: A Digest of What Happened This Week at the Capitol

January 15, 2021| Legislative News

It was an eventful week at the Capitol, as Tuesday, Jan. 12, marked the first day of the 87th Legislative Session. The House elected a new speaker for the first time since the start of the 86th session in 2019.

Bills of Interest

January 15, 2021| Legislative News

TAC Legislative Services staff has highlighted some recently filed bills of interest to county officials.

Comptroller Projects $112.5 Billion for 2022-23 Budget

January 15, 2021| Legislative News

Texas lawmakers enter the 87th Legislative Session with an estimated $112.5 billion available for general purpose spending in the next two-year state budget, a number significantly higher than what was estimated this summer when the coronavirus began to devastate the economy.

Rep. Hugh Shine Files Property Tax Relief Bill

January 15, 2021| Legislative News

Rep. Hugh Shine (R-Temple) filed HJR 32, a proposed constitutional amendment restricting the power of the Legislature to mandate requirements on cities and counties.

$1.9 Trillion “America Rescue Plan” Will Test Bipartisanship of 117th Congress

January 15, 2021| Legislative News

After months of tense negotiations among Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California), and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, all parties were able to finally agree upon a $2.3 trillion omnibus appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2021, which included $900 billion in COVID-19 relief.

Tuesday Morning Breakfasts Begin Virtually

January 15, 2021| Legislative News

A few hours before the 87th Texas Legislature gaveled in on Tuesday, the Texas Association of Counties (TAC) hosted the first in a series of weekly working breakfasts. TAC traditionally hosts these breakfasts for county officials every legislative session. As with other events, TAC moved the breakfast online, as your safety is our first priority. 

Make a difference for county government with TAC’s Core Legislative Group

January 15, 2021| Legislative News

As the 87th Texas Legislature convenes, the policy issues and priorities of county government are more important than ever. Whether it’s speaking up about the impacts of underfunded mandates or making sure voting preparation and implementation measures continue to enhance election integrity – you know what legislative initiatives matter most to your community.

Elections Legislation

January 15, 2021| Legislative News

Since early bill filing began on Nov. 9, there have been approximately 100 election bills filed, and more are expected. The largest concentration of these bills focus on voter registration.

Meet TAC’s Legislative Consultants

January 15, 2021| Legislative News

As the 87th Texas Legislature convenes, TAC’s Legislative Consultants are ready to help your county. TAC Legislative Consultants serve as liaisons between county officials and the state legislature on legislative matters.

Save the Date for Counties at the Capitol Virtual Legislative Day – Tuesday, Feb. 16

January 15, 2021| Legislative News

TAC’s Counties at the Capitol Day will get you up to speed on the most significant issues facing county government during the 87th Texas Legislature. We are responding to calls for slowing the spread of COVID-19 by hosting this event virtually. Your safety is our first priority as we strive to provide you with timely and valuable information.

AG Opinions and Requests

January 15, 2021| Legislative News

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

What We're Reading

January 15, 2021| Legislative News

The first week of the 87th Texas Legislature included COVID-19 protocols, the installation of House and Senate leadership and the adoption of chamber rules. Here are a few news articles on this week’s happenings:

2020 UFM Survey Deadline Extended

November 17, 2020| Legislative News

The Unfunded Mandates Survey deadline has been extended to Dec. 20! Yes, Dec. 20 is a Sunday, and yes, it is the last Sunday before Christmas.

State Budget Hearings Go Virtual

November 17, 2020| Legislative News

Between Oct. 29 and Nov. 6, staff members from the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) and the governor's Budget and Policy Division have held virtual budget hearings on state agency legislative appropriations requests (LARs) for the 2022-23 biennium. The LARs lay out agencies’ funding requirements and needs for the upcoming fiscal biennium.

Broadband Development Council Report Released

November 17, 2020| Legislative News

Gov. Abbott’s Broadband Development Council recently released its 2020 report to the Texas Legislature. The council recommends that the Texas Legislature create a state broadband plan and establish a statewide broadband office.

County Associations Submit Written Testimony on Senate Bill 2

November 17, 2020| Legislative News

After the passage of Senate Bill 2, known as the Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act of 2019, local governments were tasked with implementing all 152 pages of the new law. While some provisions of SB 2 contained a delayed implementation date for counties with a population of 200,000 and below, all counties were subject to new terminology, new calculations and new publication requirements.

Joint Committee on Access and Forensic Services to Submit Report

November 17, 2020| Legislative News

The Joint Committee on Access and Forensic Services (JCAFS) approved its 2020 report on mental health bed allocation methodology. The report will be submitted to the Health and Human Services Commission’s executive commissioner and the Legislature by Dec. 1.

TAC Hosts First Virtual 254 Event, Focusing on Counties’ Role in Behavioral Health

November 17, 2020| Legislative News

On Oct. 28, TAC hosted its first Virtual 254 Log on & Learn event for legislators and their staffs. This event was an opportunity for the Legislature to hear from county officials about the significant impact that behavioral health has on counties.

Judicial Commission on Mental Health Releases 2020 Legislative Report

November 17, 2020| Legislative News

The Judicial Commission on Mental Health has issued its 2020 Legislative Recommendations and Report. Recommendations important to counties include procedures related to mental health used by law enforcement, health care workers and courts; competency restoration; and technology solutions for emergency detention warrants.

Legislative Services Wraps Up Virtual Planning for Session

November 17, 2020| Legislative News

That’s a wrap! TAC's Legislative Services team completed the long-standing fall Legislative Exchange program in a transformed virtual format.

Tuesday Morning Breakfast Kickoff

November 17, 2020| Legislative News

As the 87th Legislative Session begins, please join us on Tuesday, Jan. 12, for the kickoff of our weekly breakfasts.

AG Opinions and Requests

November 17, 2020| Legislative News

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

No December Newsletter This Year

November 17, 2020| Legislative News

Due to time constraints imposed by the holidays, early filing and a number of upcoming events, we will not issue a December newsletter this year. Look for the newsletter to continue in January, when we will once again return to a weekly format during the legislative session.

Sen. Nichols Advocates for CRF Spending Flexibility

October 13, 2020| Legislative News

On Sept. 29, Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) submitted a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) requesting that she work with state leaders to review and eliminate restrictive policies governing the use of CARES Act funding for counties with populations less than 500,000.

Unfunded Mandates Survey Deadline Approaching

October 13, 2020| Legislative News

The Nov. 5 due date for the 2020 Unfunded Mandates Survey is fast approaching. Summer seemed to slip by particularly fast this year which may explain why we have only 38 completed surveys as of Oct. 14. That number is far below the 110 counties that participated in the 2018 survey, but there is still time.


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