TASA and a number of other statewide education groups submitted a joint letter to the Senate State Affairs Committee on December 7, 2020, in advance of the committee’s December 8 meeting on an interim charge related to “how governmental entities use public funds for political lobbying purposes.”
The issue has come up in previous legislative sessions, as opponents of what they call “taxpayer-funded lobbying” have filed bills that would prohibit school districts and other political subdivisions from having lobbyists or being members of associations that have lobbyists.
The result of such legislation would be that members of TASA and other organizations could not be represented at the Capitol by the organizations’ governmental relations staff. Members would have to travel to Austin to testify each and every time they wished to provide input or advocate for or against specific bills.
The joint letter from TASA and the other organizations recommends to the committee that “the right of citizens and taxpayers to participate in legislative discussions should be protected, and any efforts to marginalize or silence their right to do so should be defeated.”