The Texas Nonprofit Council was created by the 2013 Texas Legislature in Senate Bill 993 to bring formality to an earlier state task force that was planned to enhance the role of the nonprofit sector in state government.
The purpose of the council was to strengthen the “footprint” of nonprofit organizations in state government contracting opportunities, policy-making and other interactions. The council was also required to make recommendations to the legislature to advance the nonprofit sector. Faith-based and community-based organizations were to be given special emphasis.
For reasons now forgotten, the council’s administration was placed inside the gigantic Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). Therein lies the reason for its current uncertain future.
Senate Bill 200, voted favorably from a Senate committee on April 7, advances the highly-contested ongoing merger of several remaining semi-autonomous HHSC agencies. It also specifically abolishes a score of advisory councils and advisory committees within HHSC that have been authorized over the years by successive legislature enactments. Listed on Pages 46 and 47 of bill are specific references to abolishing the Texas Nonprofit Council and its enabling statute, Government Code Section 535.055.
There has been little attention to this development, but the time has arrived to raise this issue with your state senator or representative if the council’s role within state government could benefit your organization and its mission. Although initially authorized to operate through 2019, the council has not really been given the opportunity to fulfill its role and succeed.
© 2015 Richard W. Meyer, All Rights Reserved