Legislation that seeks to end the pernicious phenomenon of taxpayer-funded lobbying will receive a hearing in the Texas House next week.
A long-standing practice in the halls of the Texas Capitol, taxpayer-funded lobbying refers to cities, counties, and other local governments spending money to lobby the legislature, often against pro-taxpayer policies such as property tax relief and reform.
During the recent Senate committee hearing on Senate Bill 2, the Senate’s property tax relief bill, taxpayer-funded lobbyists showed up in droves to oppose the legislation while everyday citizen taxpayers unanimously supported the proposal.
Now House Bill 281, filed by State Rep. Mayes Middleton (R–Wallisville), aims to end the practice and has been scheduled for a hearing with the House Committee on State Affairs on Wednesday, February 27 at 10:30 a.m. or after adjournment.
During the hearing, Middleton will have the opportunity to lay out his legislation and answer questions from committee members. The public will then have the opportunity to provide testimony.
Given the nature of the bill, taxpayer-funded lobbyists will assuredly show up to oppose the bill. Citizens who oppose the use of their tax money to lobby against pro-taxpayer reforms will also have the opportunity to make their voices heard.