For over 98 years, the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas has provided important services to the members of our Commissioners Courts including educational, legal, administrative, and legislative services. During each legislative session, the CJCAT
analyzes the 7,000 introduced bills, identifies the several hundred that directly affect counties, provides updates and alerts to our members on actions by the House and Senate, and accompanies our state officers and members to meet with legislators and present testimony at committee hearings.
The CJCAT steadfastly supports legislation to promote and preserve local decision-making and opposes unfunded mandates that compel property tax increases. This representation provides a valuable information source for legislators and offsets the tremendous influence of well-funded private interest groups.
Unfortunately, some legislators would deny local officials the ability to join nonprofit associations, like the CJCAT and the Texas Association of Counties, and deny counties the ability to formulate and present a collective position on the important issues concerning their citizens. Senate Bill 234 by Sen. Hall and its House version, House Bill 749 by Rep. Middleton, would prohibit the use of county funds to support any nonprofit association that communicates with the legislature. This legislation would effectively silence county officials from any joint effort to engage the legislature. This would be particularly devastating to small- to medium-size counties that cannot afford full-time employees to provide this service. Without the ability to communicate through a nonprofit association, each county official would be forced to monitor all legislation and separately contact their legislators and state leadership.
This legislation will be a priority for the lieutenant governor and special interest groups. It is imperative that all county officials express opposition to S.B. 234/H.B. 749 and encourage their legislators to defeat these unwise measures. Please send me a copy of any communication with your legislators on this subject.
For additional information, please call me at 1-800-733-0699.