Local governments spend public money on professional lobbyists to support and oppose legislation at the Texas Capitol. According to the Texas Public Policy Foundation, political subdivisions spent as much as $41 million on lobbyists in 2017.
These lobbyists, employed with taxpayer money, typically use their influence with state lawmakers to advocate for greater spending, more taxing authority, and greater regulatory power, leaving 28 million individual Texans at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to getting their representatives’ attention.
It’s wrong to force taxpayers to support local government lobbying efforts that go against their interests. Local elected officials have other avenues to elevate their needs and concerns to state lawmakers, like making personal contact or showing up to the Texas Capitol in-person.
In March 2020, a supermajority of Texas Republican primary voters supported the following ballot proposition: “Texas should ban the practice of taxpayer-funded lobbying, which allows your tax dollars to be spent on lobbyists who work against the taxpayer.” (YES – 94.29%, NO – 5.71%)
- Ban the ability of local governments and any political subdivision of the state from using public funds to hire someone whose main job is to lobby any governmental entity.