House Representative

Swanson, Valoree

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 01/27/2017

Representative Swanson Files HB 1316: The Taxpayer Protection Act

Protecting the use of taxpayer funds

AUSTIN - Representative Valoree Swanson (Spring) announces the filing of House Bill 1316, The Taxpayer Protection Act, to prevent the use of taxpayer money from being used to pay outside lobbyists. Those outside lobbyists often work against the interests of those very taxpayers.

This legislation will prohibit any recipient of state funds from paying lobbyists. Currently, state agencies are barred from the practice, but if a local government entity receives state money, that money simply frees up other funds that can be used to pay lobbyists. This legislation closes that accounting loophole.

"Texas taxpayers' hard-earned dollars should never be used to lobby against those taxpayers' interests," said Representative Swanson. "Especially when taxpayers are taxed enough already this bill will prevent taxes from being used against the very people forced to pay them."

It is not a role of the state to help local governments fund their lobbying activities. HB 1316 prevents taxpayer dollars from going to lobbyists, improves transparency, and provides for more efficient use of taxpayer funds.

Due to sustained low oil prices, the state revenue estimates are significantly down. This bill would help by eliminating local government lobbying expenses.

contact: Rosemary Graber