News Article | February 03, 2023
Tuesday Morning Breakfast, in Brief
This week's icy weather prompted the Texas Association of Counties to hold Tuesday's weekly breakfast meeting online only. The weather also delayed this week's work at the Capitol, with the Texas House and Senate adjourned until today.
County officials representing their affiliate associations reported Tuesday that they continue to reach out to legislators during this relatively quiet period. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced Senate committee assignments Jan. 23. The House is expected to announce its committee assignments soon. Once both chambers' committee rosters are set, the Legislature's pace will pick up.
During her budget update, Legislative Services' financial analyst Zelma Smith noted that the proposed 2024-25 budgets filed Jan. 18 by the House and Senate cut funding for courthouse preservation grants from $32.9 million in the 2022-23 biennium to $1.2 million. The budget process in each chamber is just getting started. Funding is expected to be restored to some level greater than that currently proposed, Smith said.
Johnson County Commissioner Rick Bailey asked Smith about the courthouse program's match requirement. The match requirement is a minimum of 15% of the total project cost for a grant or loan. In addition, the courthouse must meet the definition of a historic courthouse as determined by the Texas Historical Commission and the county must have a master plan for restoring the courthouse.
Robert Kepple, executive director of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, drew the meeting's attention to a bill filed Jan. 27 by Sen. Mayes Middleton (R-Wallisville). Senate Bill 648 is one of several bills introduced this session aimed at "rogue prosecutors." It is "breathtaking in scope," Kepple said, and he encouraged county officials to become familiar with the bill and others like it. See the TDCAA's legislative update page for more information.
Next week's Tuesday Morning Breakfast will be rolled into our Counties at the Capitol event. The daylong program begins at 8 a.m. Feb. 7 and will bring you up to speed on the top issues facing county government in the 88th Legislature. Register here by noon Monday if you haven't done so already.
TAC's regularly scheduled Tuesday Morning Breakfasts will resume Feb. 14. Barring another winter storm, the meeting will follow our hybrid model, with the option to attend in person or online. Look for registration details next week.