The early weeks of most legislative sessions are a time for planning and discussion – a period for monitoring bills that have been filed and scanning the horizon for new ones. Participants at this week's Tuesday Morning Breakfast surveyed the legislative landscape to identify opportunities and challenges ahead.
County officials are keeping a close eye on the latest attempt to make it harder for local governments to effectively participate in the state policymaking process. Senate Bill 175, filed by state Sen. Mayes Middleton (R-Wallisville), would ban so-called taxpayer-funded lobbying and repeal the Texas Association of Counties' enabling statute.
Another top concern from this week's meeting also comes courtesy of Middleton. SJR 28 is a proposed constitutional amendment that would abolish the office of Treasurer in Galveston County. Those in attendance agreed with Grayson County Treasurer Gayla Hawkins' call to stand united against the proposal. Hawkins is also president of the County Treasurers' Association of Texas.
As they were two years ago, elections will be in the target zone again this session, said Chambers County Clerk Heather Hawthorne, Legislative Committee Chair for the County and District Clerks Association. More than 100 election-related bills have been filed thus far.
Legislators will be heading back to their districts on Thursdays and Fridays for the next several weeks before the action at the Capitol accelerates. It's a good time for county officials to reach out to their local representatives and senators, TAC Legislative Services Director Noe Barrios said.
"We're in the friend-making business. Let's take advantage of the downtime this week," he said.
As the activity increases, TAC's Tuesday Morning Breakfasts will keep you on top of the Capitol's ever-changing legislative landscape. Please join us each Tuesday through May 23 from 7 to 8 a.m.
Register here for the Jan. 24 Tuesday Morning Breakfast.
Virtual registrants will receive a Webex link in advance of the meeting. If you plan to attend virtually, this Webex Videoconferencing Best Practices document will help you troubleshoot any connectivity issues you may have.
The TAC building is located at 1210 San Antonio St. Breakfasts will be held in the TAC Boardroom on the fourth floor. Free parking is available in TAC garage. The entrance is on 13th Street between Nueces and San Antonio streets.
Please contact Amy Ruedas at (800) 456-5974 with any questions about the breakfast meetings.