As the end of the legislative session approaches, we have once again expended much effort to defeat or change unfunded mandates and revenue caps. It is apparent that many members of the Legislature do not have a comprehensive awareness of the duties and responsibility of county government. Let us begin today to expand that awareness by implementing the following suggestions:
Invite your legislators to present a report on the legislative session at a meeting of commissioners court. Ensure a good turnout by requesting other county officials and staff to attend.
Research your legislators’ voting record on important county issues. Publicly express your appreciation for their support and/or sponsorship of important bills. Privately request an explanation for votes that were not helpful.
Send a copy of the proposed budget to your legislators. Request their comments and suggestions. Invite them to attend your budget and tax rate hearings.
Whenever you attend a public function, address a civic club, or host an event, invite your legislators to attend as your special guest.
Encourage other county officials and supporters to also make an effort to familiarize your legislators with county duties.
If you are a county commissioner and do not draw an opponent in the primary or general election, consider endorsing your legislator, or even his opponent if the above suggestions have not produced a good relationship.
It is our responsibility to seek out legislators