The Texas legislature is considering bills that would limit what money cities spend to lobby issues in Austin.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation says in 2017, local governments spent as much as $41 million of taxpayers' hard earned cash to lobby against them in Austin. Houston is among the top spenders.
“This year alone, the city is going to spend almost $1 million to lobby the legislature for higher taxes, more spending and bigger government. That doesn't include the in-house lobbyists they also employ,” says James Quintero, policy director for the TPPF’s Government for the People campaign.
Quintero believes this is the year it comes to a halt with SB 234.
“The Foundation, along with the bill authors in both the House and the Senate, I think did a subperb job making it crystal clear that contract lobbyists should not be paid for with tax dollars.”
Quintero says cities are not alone.
“You have counties, school districts and special districts also engaged in the practice of taxpayer-funded lobbying,” he says. “This is one of those dirty little secrets in Austin that absolutely needs to be dealt with.”