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  By: Hall S.B. No. 69
 
 
 
   
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the use by a political subdivision of public funds for
  lobbying activities.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 556, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Section 556.0056 to read as follows:
         Sec. 556.0056.  RESTRICTION ON USE OF PUBLIC FUNDS BY
  POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS FOR LOBBYING ACTIVITIES. (a) A political
  subdivision may not spend public funds:
               (1)  to hire an individual required to register as a
  lobbyist under Chapter 305 for the purpose of lobbying a member of
  the legislature; or
               (2)  to pay a nonprofit state association or
  organization that:
                     (A)  primarily represents political subdivisions;
  and
                     (B)  hires or contracts with an individual
  required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305.
         (b)  If a political subdivision engages in an activity
  prohibited by Subsection (a), a taxpayer or resident of the
  political subdivision is entitled to appropriate injunctive relief
  to prevent further activity prohibited by that subsection and
  further payment of public funds related to that activity.
         (c)  A taxpayer or resident who prevails in an action under
  Subsection (b) is entitled to recover from the political
  subdivision the taxpayer's or resident's reasonable attorney's fees
  and costs incurred in bringing the action.
         SECTION 2.  Section 81.026, Local Government Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 81.026.  COMMISSIONERS COURT MEMBERSHIP ON
  ASSOCIATIONS AND NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS. A county judge or
  county commissioner may serve on the governing body of or any
  committee serving an association of counties, including a nonprofit
  state association or organization, except that the county judge or
  county commissioner may not spend public funds to serve on the
  governing body or committee or to join or otherwise become a member
  of the association of counties in violation of Section 556.0056,
  Government Code [created or operating pursuant to the provisions of
  Section 89.002]. A county judge or county commissioner may serve as
  a member of any board of trustees or board of directors or other
  governing body of any trust or other entity created pursuant to
  interlocal contract for the purpose of forming or administering any
  governmental pool, self-insurance pool, insurance pool, or any
  other fund or joint endeavor created for the benefit of member
  counties and political subdivisions. In addition, a county judge
  or county commissioner may serve as a member of the board of
  directors of any nonprofit corporation that is created and exists
  solely for the purpose of providing administrative or other
  services to such trust or other entity. A county judge or county
  commissioner, acting as a member of any such board or committee, may
  perform any act necessary or appropriate for the rendition of such
  service, including the casting of votes and deliberations
  concerning and execution of contracts or claims with or against any
  county. A county judge or commissioner may participate in
  deliberations concerning and cast any vote on any matter before the
  commissioners court affecting the execution of any contract with or
  the payment of claims, premiums, dues, or contributions to any such
  trust, association, nonprofit corporation, or entity or any related
  matter.
         SECTION 3.  Section 89.002, Local Government Code, is
  repealed.
         SECTION 4.  Section 556.0056, Government Code, as added by
  this Act, applies only to an expenditure or payment of public funds
  by a political subdivision that is made on or after the effective
  date of this Act, including an expenditure or payment of public
  funds by a political subdivision that is made under a contract
  entered into before, on, or after the effective date of this Act. A
  contract term providing for an expenditure or payment prohibited by
  Section 556.0056, Government Code, as added by this Act, is void on
  the effective date of this Act.
         SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect on the 91st day after the
  last day of the legislative session.