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Constitutionality of government sector lobbying

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Some question the constitutionality of government sector lobbying. There are federal regulations that prohibit the use of federal funds for lobbying, but the laws are not enforceable and not effective.[1]

Texas

Texas Local Government Code

Main article: Texas government sector lobbying report

There are several sections of Texas law that are relevant in discussing ethical issues regarding government sector lobbying.[2] However, the code is unclear whether government sector lobbying is allowed or not.

Texas Local Government Code section 89.002 prohibits county governments from using county dues to pay association dues if the association influences or attempts to influence the outcome of any pending legislation.

Texas Local Government Code section 556.0055 prohibits the use of state funds to pay for lobbying expenses incurred by the recipient of state funds.

Texas Local Government Code section 305.026(d) specifically allows other local governments to use taxpayer funds to pay dues to certain statewide associations which engage in lobbying.

2005 lawsuit

See Texas lawsuit on government sector lobbying

In 2005, Williamson County taxpayers Peggy Venable, Janice Brauner, and Judy Morris filed a lawsuit against the Texas Association of Counties in October 2005. The petitioners cited Texas Local Government Code statute 89.002 which prohibits counties from paying dues to an organization that attempts to influence state government. The 277th Judicial District Court in Williamson ruled in 2007 that TAC had been operating outside the law.[3]

The decision came down against the Texas Association of Counties in particular, but Venable has stated that she hopes the ruling is the start of a trend towards further skepticism regarding government sector lobbying.[4]

References

  1. State-Level Lobbying and Taxpayers: How Much Do We Really Know?, Pacific Research Institute
  2. 2006 House Interim Report
  3. Texas Magazine, Fmr. State Rep. Fred Hill now well-paid by taxpayers to lobby, 02/03/2009
  4. [1]