Texas Legislature 2017 Preview

Issues to consider in reviewing Texas legislative proposals that affect nonprofits and associations

The 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, will be called to order on January 10, 2017, but already hundreds of proposed bills have been pre-filed by sponsors in the House and Senate. More than 6,000 bills will be filed during the session. The challenge becomes how to sort through them and identify the bills that directly affect the nonprofit sector and the interests of community leaders, volunteers and those who support community-based organizations, statewide associations and foundations. [Read more…]

Texas Legislature’s “interim committee” work picks up in 2016 — stay informed

Much of the preparation and work for the 2017 legislative session will be initiated during the 2016 interim period by House and Senate committees through “charges” issued by the speaker and lieutenant governor. Stakeholders, advocacy groups and interested persons should monitor these committee agendas and be alert to background research, policy discussions, consensus-building and committee public hearings. These activities can result in important bill drafts that emerge full-blown early in the 2017 session, often with considerable member support. At that point, it may be too late to influence or oppose a bill or policy shift that has accrued broad support. [Read more…]

2015 Texas Legislative Summary for nonprofits – End-of-session final report

As the results of the 140-day 2015 legislative session are reviewed, winners and losers come into view—bills that passed, that almost passed, should have passed or died due to some parliamentary or procedural circumstance. It is equally important to consider groups of dead bills that reflect an issue, policy or advocacy group that will be back in 2017 for another try.

The complete June 25, 2015 SUMMARY OF ISSUES AFFECTING NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS is available here and reflects some of the 1,332 bills passed from the almost 6,300 filed. The governor vetoed only 42 bills. This indicates a 21% passage rate. [Read more…]

2015 Texas Legislative Summary for nonprofits – Last-day-of-session report

As the haze of the 140-day 2015 legislative session lifts, winners and losers come into view—bills that passed, that almost passed, should have passed or died due to some parliamentary or procedural circumstance. Equally important is to consider groups of dead bills that reflect an issue, idea or constituent base that will be back in 2017 for another try.

The complete June 1, 2015 SUMMARY OF ISSUES AFFECTING NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS is available here, and will be updated when the Governor’s veto period has lapsed and effective dates of passed bills can be listed.

During the coming hot summer, there will be time to reflect on the effect of new laws on nonprofit organizations, state associations, foundations and local volunteer leaders. Some items of interest: [Read more…]

2015 Texas Legislative Summary for nonprofits—Late session report

With four weeks remaining in the 2015 Texas legislative session, bills must be moving to survive and be passed. Procedural rules, long committee agendas and end-of-session deadlines become important and will spell the end of most bills now on file. They can die in committee because they have never moved from there. Bills that are moving can “die by the clock” when they have not moved between the two houses in sufficient time to be reconsidered by the other house or a conference committee.

[Read more…]