2021 Texas Legislative Proposals Affecting Nonprofits

Legislative proposals affecting nonprofit organizations, state associations and foundations are among the 7,000-plus bills on file at this halfway point in the 140-day 2021 session.  My complete summary can be read and printed here. In a challenging economic environment, nonprofits should look to opportunities for contracting and partnerships with state and local governments as well as accessing funding programs that have been generated through government disaster response, pandemic response and economic stimulus measures.  Look through the legislative summary for new revenue-generating sources and expanded programs that align with your mission.

Texas Legislative and Policy Prospects for 2021

Year 2020 challenged non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with a pandemic, an economic slowdown and uncertainty about the responses of newly-elected government leaders, including the legislators now gathered in Austin for the 87th Regular Session. Nonprofit organizations, foundations and associations of all types are searching for new programs to serve the public and their stakeholders. Leaders from across the nation gathered January 21-22 for the 38th Annual University of Texas School of Law Nonprofit Organizations Institute.  I delivered my observations along with co-presenter, Ross Ramsey, executive editor of the Texas Tribune.  (Read and print the entire paper here.)

Although it’s hard to predict the direction the legislature will take, there are numerous opportunities to engage issues that should not be ignored:  formalized and centralized disaster relief response by nonprofits and volunteer groups; surviving and operating under changing federal and state disaster declarations, emergency orders and federal and state regulatory edicts; access to federal relief funds passed down to local agencies; using the 2020 census and redistricted political boundaries to grow into new relationships; and societal change underlying civil rights, criminal law enforcement and social justice issues.

My observations and other earlier legislative summaries are available here and will be updated during the 2021 Texas Legislative Session.

Issues Facing Texas Government Leaders and 2019-2021 Legislative Overview

The opening session of the 37th Annual University of Texas School of Law Nonprofit Organizations Institute on January 24 featured insights by The Texas Tribune executive editor Ross Ramsey and my presentation (view and print it here) regarding the state’s booming economy, changing demographics, state revenue needs and the challenges in the 2021 legislative session facing state leaders.  The economic impact of the Texas nonprofit sector was highlighted by a new study from the United Ways of Texas.  As state and local governments continue to maximize limited resources, they increasingly look to competent nonprofit organizations to perform privatized government functions and operate social service programs as contractors or grantees.  (View and print the entire presentation)

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…]