The Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 10 last week 17-13, moving the measure that would make it harder for local officials to effectively participate in the legislative process to the House for its consideration. Sen. Kel Seliger of Amarillo was the only Republican to vote against SB 10, while Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. (D-Brownsville) was absent.
Jim Allison, general counsel for the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas, told Tuesday's 100 or so breakfast participants that they should take some comfort in the fact that SB 10 took a relatively long time to get to the Senate floor compared with most of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's other legislative priorities, and once there, it passed by the narrowest of margins under Senate rules. “It's always been assumed that if SB 10 is to be defeated, it will be defeated in the House,” Allison said, and he urged county officials to redouble their efforts against the measure. A House variation on SB 10 — House Bill 749 by Rep. Mayes Middleton (R-Wallisville) — was left pending in the House State Affairs Committee after a hearing on March 26.
Schleicher County Treasurer Jennifer Henderson, president-elect of the County Treasurers' Association of Texas, issued her own call to action, encouraging county officials to speak out against House Joint Resolution 120. The proposed constitutional amendment by Middleton would abolish the county treasurer's office in Galveston County. The resolution was heard and left pending Tuesday, April 20, in the House County Affairs Committee.
There are 37 days left in the 87th Texas Legislature, and county officials are busy weighing in on a broad range of proposals that would affect county offices. They're expressing support for bills that would improve county government and speaking against those that would do harm, such as when a bill imposes an unfunded mandate on county budgets. They’re also working with lawmakers to make other bills workable for counties.
Stay up to date by visiting TAC’s Legislative Page and by joining TAC's virtual Tuesday Morning Breakfasts each week at 7:30 a.m. Please register for the next breakfast on Tuesday, April 27, by 5 p.m. Monday, April 26.
Login instructions will be sent with confirmation of your registration. Contact Amy Ruedas at AmyR@county.org or (800) 456-5974 with any questions about the breakfast meetings.