News Article | April 06, 2023
Tuesday Morning Breakfast Highlights
This week's legislative breakfast meeting served as the start of County Government Day, the centerpiece of which was a barbecue lunch at the Capitol hosted by the Texas Association of Counties. Before heading the three blocks from the TAC Building to the Capitol to celebrate the important work that counties do and meet with legislators, breakfast attendees surveyed the legislative lay of the land.
Tom Harrison with the Texas County & District Retirement System provided an update on Senate Bill 1446 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola). As we previously reported, SB 1446 targets environmental, social and corporate governance policies. In so doing, it would create fiduciary and legal risks for private investment firms, TCDRS says. As a result, these firms would be reluctant to do business with TCDRS, which estimates a $6 billion loss in future earnings over the next 10 years.
SB 1446 remained pending in committee as of midday Wednesday. TCDRS has more information on the bill's negative impact on the retirement benefits of 345,000 Texans. Find it here.
Tuesday may have been a day for honoring county government at the Capitol, but the day didn't end without a couple of ironies. SB 175 by Sen. Mayes Middleton (R-Galveston) was placed on the Senate intent calendar on Tuesday. SB 175 effectively would silence the county voice at the Legislature by banning so-called taxpayer-funded lobbying. An identical bill in the House, House Bill 3538 by Rep. Ellen Troxclair (R-Austin), has yet to be heard by the House State Affairs Committee.
The County Treasurers' Association of Texas continues to rally other county affiliate associations to support its opposition to SJR 28, a proposed constitutional amendment by Middleton that would abolish the treasurer's office in Galveston County pending voter approval in November. The Senate passed SJR 28 Tuesday on a 28-3 vote. The proposal must now win two-thirds approval in the House.
A similar resolution, HJR 109 by Rep. DeWayne Burns (R-Cleburne), would abolish the office of treasurer in Somervell County. The House County Affairs Committee has yet to schedule a hearing on Burns' proposed amendment.
There are 52 days left in the 140-day regular session of the 88th Legislature. The pace is quickening, and TAC's Legislative Services team is tracking about 3,600 bills that affect counties. Find them here.
Stay up to date by joining TAC's Tuesday Morning Breakfasts in person or online each week at 7 a.m.