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Restricted Expenditures — Publications and Advertising

Agencies may not use appropriated money to publish a periodical or other publication, unless the cost is reimbursed with revenue generated from the sale of the publication, if the publication is:

  • Intended for use by the general public;
  • Generally informational, promotional or educational; and
  • Not essential to the achievement of a statutory objective of the agency.

The following periodicals and/or publications are not subject to the above requirements:

  • Texas Highways magazine
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine
  • Publications of the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse
  • Annual reports and other materials required by law, the content of which includes only topics provided by law
  • Compilations of statutes or rules
  • Newsletters
  • Attorney general opinions, advisories and decisions
  • Comptroller's office opinions, revenue forecasts and fiscal analyses

A state agency may not use appropriated money to publish a periodical or other publication if it prominently displays the name or picture of an appointed officer or statewide elected official. The only exception to this restriction is the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) Official State Travel Map.

Unless an agency charges a fee to make up the cost of publishing, an agency can not use appropriated money for the following:

  • Enamel-coated, cast-coated, or dull-coated printing stock.
  • A publication with an average of more than one picture for each two pages or 50 percent of the publication.

Exceptions to this restriction can be found in Subchapter C of the Government Code.

A state agency that distributes a publication with a person’s photograph or displays the name of a person in large type or on a repetitive basis must retain a copy of the publication in the agency’s files.

State agencies using appropriated money to publish free periodicals quarterly or less frequently, must insert an annual notice stating that anyone wishing to receive the periodical must request it in writing.

State agencies using appropriated money to publish a free periodical more frequently than quarterly must insert the notice annually in three consecutive issues of the periodical. The agency may provide future issues of the periodical only to persons who have requested it.

Within 120 days of an election in which the office of the head of a state agency will be filled, appropriated money may not be used for a publication relating to that agency’s activities or legal responsibilities.

See also: Publicity of Individuals or State Agencies.


Appointed officer
Has the meaning assigned by Texas Government Code Section 572.002.
Appropriated money
Money appropriated by the Legislature through the General Appropriations Act (GAA) or other law. (Texas Government Code Section 2113.001(1))
State agency
  • A department, commission, board, office or other entity in the executive branch of state government.
  • The Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, another entity in the judicial branch of state government with statewide authority or a court of appeals.
  • A university system or an institution of higher education as defined by Texas Education Code Section 61.003, except a public junior college, which is excluded from the meaning of the term. (Texas Government Code Section 2113.001(2))

Sources [+]

Texas Government Code Sections 2113.107.

Libraries and Archives specification

Agencies that contract for printing services must furnish to the Statewide Procurement Division (SPD) of the Comptroller’s office a receipt of the publications list form or a written waiver from the state librarian exempting the publication.

Texas State Publications Depository Program


State agency
A state office, officer, department, division, bureau, board, commission, legislative committee, authority, institution, sub-state planning bureau, university system and institution of higher education, or a subdivision of one of those entities. (Texas Government Code Section 441.101(3))
State publication
  • Information in any format that:
    • Is produced by the authority of or at the total or partial expense of a state agency, or is required to be distributed under law by the agency.
    • Is publicly distributed outside the agency by or for the agency.
    • Does not include information the distribution of which is limited to:
      • contractors with or grantees of the agency.
      • persons within the agency or within other government agencies.
      • members of the public under a request made under the public information law, Chapter 552, Government Code. (Texas Government Code Section 441.101(4))

Sources [+]

Texas Government Code Sections 441.103(e), 441.105, 441.106.

Documentation Requirements [+]

  1. When a state agency pays for the printing of a publication, the agency must retain an original of the item in the agency’s files. Examples of publications include brochures, newsletters and pamphlets.
  2. Comptroller object 7218 must be used for the printing of publications.