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Relating to the authorization and reporting of expenditures for lobbying activities by certain political subdivisions and other public entities.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 702 would require any lobby expenditure by a political subdivision or public institution of higher education to be specifically authorized by the governing body of a subdivision, by a majority vote, in an open meeting. It would also make changes to public disclosure of information related to lobbying and information plainly available to citizens. In the event of noncompliance, an "interested party" (including a taxpayer of the political subdivision) may be entitled to appropriate injunctive relief to prevent further activity in violation of the bill.
Texas Action recommends supporting SB 702 because it promotes limited government. Political subdivisions spend a substantial amount of money on lobbyists with public funds. As such, taxpayers should have a right to know where exactly their money is going and to what causes, especially if it is used for a cause against the taxpayer's interest.