Commentary on 2017 Texas Legislative Activity Affecting Nonprofits and State Associations

My August 24 presentation at the 15th Annual State Bar Governance of Nonprofit Organizations course is available here. I received a positive response from those attending and welcome your comments or questions regarding the paper.

The 85th Legislature’s First Special Session ended on August 14, and there were no developments of note regarding nonprofit organizations, foundations and state associations. Updates and items of interest will be posted here during the current “interim” period before the legislature returns in January 2019.

(Print the paper.)

Texas Nonprofit Sector Receives Attention of Texas Legislators in the 2017 Session

End-of-session final summary:

The 85th Texas Legislature Regular Session ended on May 29, 2017, featuring more than 7,000 bills and resolutions in both houses that occupied the attention of lawmakers and affected citizens and groups. Compared to controversies and issues in the past, this was a quiet and relatively challenge-free session for the charities, state associations, foundations and community-based volunteer organizations that comprise the Texas nonprofit sector. The following summary list of bills and issues include these highlights:  [Read and print the full summary here.] [Read more…]

Texas Legislation Affecting Nonprofit Organizations Approaches Session’s End

85th Texas Legislature, 2017 Regular Session
As of April 30, 2017

• Legislators race to the finish of session: 

With four weeks remaining in the 85th regular session, legislators are scrambling to get bills passed in their house and quickly referred to a friendly committee in the other house for quick action. There are now more than 7,000 bills and resolutions on file, depending on how you count them. Bills that passed one house but are not moving this week in the other house are likely dead “by the clock” for this session, unless the legislator is skillful in attaching the key elements of a short bill onto a compatible bill that is moving through the process and to final passage.

> Read and print the full summary here. [Read more…]

First Summary of Bills in the 2017 Texas Legislature Affecting Nonprofit Organizations

Bill filing deadline has passed on the “60th day” of session:

A first snapshot of the variety of issues before the 2017 Texas Legislature is now available.  The 60th day has passed, which is the last day for senators and representatives to file bills.  There are now more than 7,000 bills and resolutions on file, depending on how you count them.  A bill may have a duplicate or companion bill filed in the other chamber, but there remain millions of lines of legislative text to manage before adjournment on May 29. [Read more…]

Seminar commentary on 2015 Texas legislation affecting nonprofits

Three months after adjournment of the 2015 Texas Legislature, reflecting on issues and trends raised during the session is in order. My presentation on August 13 at the annual State Bar of Texas Governance Nonprofit Organizations seminar is available here, and it highlights these items of interest:

  • The overall regulatory environment for nonprofit entities in Texas remains “light” in comparison to other states where there are extensive annual registration or licensing requirements with fees, regulation of solicitations from the public, mandatory public disclosure of organizational finances and other state government compliance regimes.
  • There were no significant changes to the Texas Nonprofit Corporation Law in Chapter 22 of the Texas Business Organizations Code, which is the primary body of law relating to nonprofit governance and disclosure issues.
  • The legislature showed continuing interest in granting legal immunity or limiting the liability of volunteers, first responders, volunteers supervising local amateur athletic events, and licensed professionals who volunteer during a disaster response.

[Read more…]