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…]

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…]

2015 Texas Legislative Summary for nonprofits – Mid-session report

With more than 6,200 bills filed by Texas legislators now in play, anyone attending or following long committee meetings or floor sessions at the Texas Capitol will test their patience, attention span, caffeine tolerance or lumbar endurance.

Nonprofit organizations, state associations and foundations are affected by dozens of proposed bills, directly or indirectly. The April 1, 2015 SUMMARY OF ISSUES AFFECTING NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS is available here and will be updated regularly through the June adjournment of the 84th regular session and after. Share it with your colleagues and friends and receive updates by clicking the Subscribe box on this page. [Read more…]

2015 Texas Legislative Summary for nonprofits – “60th day” report

With more than 6,000 bills filed by Texas legislators by the filing deadline, any observer attempting a snapshot of the issues ahead in the coming weeks will need a wide-angle lens. There is a lot to read and understand, no matter what your area of interest.

Nonprofit organizations, state associations and foundations are affected by dozens of proposed bills, directly or indirectly. The March 13, 2015 SUMMARY OF ISSUES AFFECTING NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS is available here and will be updated regularly through the June adjournment of the 84th regular session and after. Share it with your colleagues and friends and subscribe to receive updates by clicking the Subscribe box on this page. [Read more…]