Rep. DeWayne Burns (R-Cleburne) filed HJR 30, a constitutional amendment restricting the power of the legislature to mandate requirements on cities and counties.
Rep. Burns carried a similar resolution, HJR 73, during the 85th legislative session and was able to pass the bill out of the House by an overwhelming vote of 127 to 18.
I’m proud to say that even though ending state unfunded mandates is fundamentally conservative and an important plank in the Republican platform, we worked with members from all walks of life and had bipartisan support to get it passed in the House last session. We’ll be tackling it again next session!
Although that bill lost steam when it arrived in the Senate, we are already seeing the momentum carried over with HJR 30. Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) filed a companion SJR 10, coauthored by Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock). Please consider asking your legislators to sign on to the unfunded mandate constitutional amendment. It takes two-thirds support of each chamber to give your citizens a voice.
Commissioners Courts Can Take Action
It’s hard to overstate the importance of sending a message about how unfunded mandates affect county budgets and local property taxpayers ahead of the legislative session. TAC will be sending out an email later during the week of Dec. 10 that will detail important opportunities to get involved. The email will also include helpful resources and information to make taking action easy.
Below is just one of those resources, a proposed Resolution in Opposition to Unfunded Mandates that can be customized for your county to show lawmakers the fiscal impact of state-mandated responsibilities.
After your court has completed and adopted the resolution, please forward it to your state senator (firstname.lastname@example.org) and state representatives (email@example.com). Also, please share copies with local media, on social media and with Jim Allison and Rhita Koches, TAC’s Core Legislative Group Coordinator.