Information Related to Senate Bill 65

We are aware that TASB members have received a letter from State Representative Mayes Middleton, asking for disclosure of information under Senate Bill 65. (See attached 12/12/2019 press statement by Middleton.)

Rep. Middleton’s letter basically asks for two types of information: 1) disclosures about lobbying if the district has a consulting contract with a state agency; and 2) the district’s 1295 Disclosure of Interested Parties forms from June 14, 2019 to present.

Lobbying Disclosures

The 86th Texas Legislature passed SB 65, which amends state agency procurement laws to require any political subdivision, including a school district, that has ever contracted with a state agency for “consulting services” to disclose and itemize details of the political subdivision’s lobbying activities. A consulting service contract is defined as “the service of studying or advising a state agency under a contract….” (Tex. Gov’t Code §2254.021(1)) We believe a school district is not likely to have a consulting services contract which includes a state agency as a party, but you should review your records to make sure.

1295 Disclosures

Since 2015, business entities have been required to file a Form 1295 Certificate of Interested Parties disclosure before the district can enter into a contract with that business entity that: (1) is approved by the board; or (2) has a value of at least $1 million. In addition, after SB 65, business entities must file a 1295 form before the district may enter into a contract for services that would require a person to register as a lobbyist.

Does SB 65 relate to your membership with TASB?

No. TASB membership is not implicated in the state agency consultant contract procurement laws. Disclosure of lobbying activities could be required if a district has ever entered into such a contract with a state agency.

TASB also does not enter into contracts for lobbying services with its members. Your TASB membership fees pay for your school board’s membership in an association that offers many benefits, including nonpartisan legislative information and advocacy. TASB’s Advocacy Agenda is developed at the regional level by school board members and is publicly available online. Board members can register now to attend one of 20 regional Grassroots meetings where the 2020–22 Advocacy Agenda will be developed.

Didn’t TASB send us something about lobbying already?

Yes. To comply with a new requirement from House Bill 1495, TASB provided members with information on the amount of membership fees used in 2019 and projected to be used in 2020 for advocacy so that members could add a line item to their budgets if the district chose to do so.

Should our district have a 1295 form from TASB?

School boards do not enter into written contracts for membership with TASB. However, if you would like TASB to complete a Form 1295 disclosure, contact Kelly Panfilli, TASB Director of Board and Management Services, at kelly.panfilli@tasb.org.