Restricted Expenditures — Expenditures for State-Federal Relations
Prohibition on hiring lobbyists
A state agency that violates this prohibition is subject to a reduction of its appropriations under the General Appropriations Act (GAA) up to $100,000 for each violation.
Texas Government Code Section 556.005(a) and (c).
Membership dues to organizations that pay salaries of lobbyists
Note: This restriction does not apply to the payment of dues to organizations that represent student interests before the Legislature or Congress, or to State Bar membership fees.
Texas Government Code Sections 556.002(b), 556.005(b).
Influencing elections or achieving political purposes
A state agency may not use money under its control to finance or support the candidacy of a person for an office in the legislative, executive or judicial branch of state government or of the government of the United States. This prohibition extends to the direct or indirect employment of a person to perform such actions and the use of a state-owned or state-leased motor vehicle for these purposes.
Note: A mandatory student service fee may not be used to influence the outcome of an election.
Texas Government Code Sections 556.002(b), 556.003, 556.004, 556.007. Opinion of the Texas Attorney General No. JM-597 (1986), MW-323 (1981).
A state agency may not use appropriated money to attempt to influence the passage or defeat of a legislative measure. This prohibition does not apply to a state officer or employee who uses state resources to provide public information or information in response to a request.
Texas Government Code Sections 556.006-556.007. Opinion of the Texas Attorney General NO. M-828 (1971). Graves & Houtchens v. Diamond Hill Independent School Dist., 243 S.W. 638, 639 (Tex. Civ. App.—Fort Worth 1922, no writ).
- Appropriated money
- Money appropriated by the Legislature through the GAA or other law. The term includes money received from the federal government if the money is appropriated by the Legislature. (Texas Government Code Sections 556.001(1))
- Institution of higher education and university system
- Have the meanings assigned by Texas Education Code Section 61.003.
- A person who is required by Chapter 305, Government Code, to register as a lobbyist.
- State agency
- A department, commission, board, office or other agency in the executive branch of state government, created under the constitution or a statute, with statewide authority.
- An institution of higher education or a university system.
- 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 regional planning commission, council of governments or similar regional planning agency created under Chapter 391, Local Government Code.
- A local workforce development board created under Subchapter F of Chapter 2308, Government Code.
- A community center created under Subchapter A of Chapter 534, Health and Safety Code. (Texas Government Code Sections 556.001)
- State employee
- An individual employed by a state agency. The term does not include an elected official or an individual appointed to office by the governor or another officer. (Texas Government Code Sections 556.001(3))
- State officer
- An individual appointed to office by the governor or another officer. (Texas Government Code Sections 556.001(4))
Texas Government Code Sections 556.001, 556.002(a); Opinion of the Texas Attorney General NO. JC-161 (1999).