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Relating to the authorization and reporting of expenditures for lobbying activities by certain political subdivisions and other public entities.
Estimated two-year net impact to general revenue related funds for SB 1879, Committee Report 1st House, Substituted: a negative impact of ($93,000) through the biennium August 31, 2023.
The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill. The Ethics Commission is required to implement a provision of this Act only if the legislature appropriates money specifically for that purpose. If the legislature does not appropriate money specifically for that purpose, the Ethics Commission may, but is not required to, implement a provision of this Act using other appropriations available for that purpose.
SB 1879 would require certain local government entities to obtain a majority vote by their governing body before spending money to influence any legislation pending before the legislature. The bill would also require the political subdivision to report to the Texas Ethics Commission, and to publish on their website, the amount of money authorized to be spent, the name of the lobbyist, and an electronic copy of the contract for services between the political subdivision and the lobbyist. Membership fees and dues paid to non-profit state associations or organizations that directly or indirectly influence legislation would also be required to be posted on the website.
Texas Action supports SB 1879 because it would create greater transparency in government by providing taxpayers a way to easily identify what funds a local government entity has used on lobbying.