New Faces and Revised Roles Among TAC Legislative Staff

October 13, 2020

Legislative News

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After an exhaustive search, TAC Legislative Services Director Noe Barrios recently filled three empty positions.

Legislative Consultant Amy Befeld will be our liaison to the Texas District & County Attorneys Association. She comes to TAC after serving as the deputy director of three legislative committees: the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting, the Senate Select Committee on Mass Violence Prevention & Community Safety, and the Senate Committee on State Affairs. Prior to joining TAC, Amy served as an Assistant Attorney General, litigating for the Texas Attorney General's Law Enforcement Defense Division. Her skills in legal research, writing and statutory interpretation, paired with her in-depth knowledge of the legislative process, make her a highly effective advocate for local government interests. Amy received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Southwestern University and her Juris Doctor from the University of Texas School of Law.

TAC will leverage Legislative Consultant Austin McCarty’s 12 years of experience in the Texas political culture, including stints in both Republican and Democrat offices and campaigns, to focus on federal issues, liaise with the National Association of Counties (NACo) and provide fiscal note analysis. During his time with the Legislature, Austin served as a senior level staffer, working with a variety of members. While there, he aided in successfully crafting and passing into law key bills on a variety of subjects including the environment, higher education, public safety, taxes and the economy.  Most recently, Austin served as Director of Government Affairs for two of the state’s leading trade associations, the Texas Chemical Council and the Association of Chemical Industry of Texas. Austin currently serves as a First Class Petty Officer and Aircrewman with Fleet Logistics and Support Squadron Five Nine (VR-59).

Our newest member, Legislative Consultant Pete Winckler, comes to TAC after two years representing a broad spectrum of domestic and international businesses. Prior to that, he spent 14 years as an aide, director and chief of staff to four Texas Senators — including Sen. John Lindsey who entered the Senate after serving as the Harris county judge from 1975-1995. Pete’s nuanced understanding of the legislative and regulatory process is informed by his prior work across a wide range of policy issues including tax policy, the Sunset Commission, alcohol, insurance, eminent domain, transportation, public and higher education, the state budget, criminal justice and infrastructure development. Pete has called Austin home for over 20 years, but draws on his Houston roots and experience representing coastal, North and East Texas interests to understand the diverse needs across our state. Pete will be our liaison to the Texas Association of County Auditors, replacing Paul Sugg.

Legislative Consultant Paul Sugg, who had been working with both the auditors and sheriffs during the interim, graciously agreed to become TAC’s full-time liaison to the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas — a role for which he is eminently qualified.