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Relating to expenditures for lobbying activities made by certain entities.
No fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 29 would prevent certain political subdivisions from paying lobbying expenses. The bill would prohibit lobbying activities that consist of spending public money in order to influence any legislation relating to taxation, bond elections, or ethical issues of public servants.
SB 29 would not prohibit local officials or their staff from providing testimony. This bill would only apply to individuals who fall under the category of activities that are covered in Sec. 305 of Government Code (this code defines lobby registration). In addition, this bill would also not apply to paying dues or fees to an association.
Lastly, the bill provides legal remedies for a taxpayer in the event that the political subdivision was thought to be engaging in lobbying activities using taxpayer funding.
Under the new law, the political subdivision is also required to publicly disclose all lobbying activities.
Texas Action recommends supporting SB 29 because it promotes limited government. Local governments should not be able to use taxpayer dollars to hire outside lobbyists who lobby against the interests of the taxpayers. We believe that only people have rights, not government.