Idea Exchange: The 2021 Texas Legislative Session

We’ve added a new department to Association Leadership to engage members and utilize and highlight the TSAE Exchange Online Community. For each issue, we’ll post a question on the community to encourage discussion between members. Then, we’ll pull a selection of comments to highlight in an upcoming issue of the magazine.

With the 87th Legislative Session having just recently begun, we wanted to know, “What’s keeping you up at night about the 2021 Texas legislative session?”

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“We are all used to the traditional timing of when and how things take place during session and that informs how we proceed with our legislative agendas. I think the biggest challenge this session is that that timing has been somewhat upended, so it is difficult to know how to plan accordingly. When will we know about House committee appointments and who will hold positions of power, how many days will they actually be in session over the next couple of months while the pandemic is still raging? It’s a new playing field, and we are learning as we go.”

– Leslie Midgley, CAE
Executive Vice President and CEO
Texas Land Title Association

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“Keeping members engaged as we move to virtual advocacy is keeping me up at night. The new rules that allow only invited witnesses to testify virtually are likely to have a chilling effect on our ability to influence the outcome of bills and respond to statements made by other witnesses. Advocacy helps us attract and retain members, but it will be tough to maintain advocacy momentum in this COVID-19 and virtual legislative environment. We will be doing virtual advocacy hours, but nothing beats the thrill of the crowd and the energy of the Capitol to engage new, young professionals.”

– Jan Friese
Executive Director
Texas Counseling Association

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“I stay up at night on a regular basis! I am worried about several things, but one that will potentially impact many of us is the proposed ban on lobbying by governmental entities. We are a 501c(3) organization – we tend to serve as a resource to members and actual lobbying for/against bills is a very small part of what we do. However, our members do rely on us to weigh in on legislation and want us to have a voice at the Capitol. I am concerned about the long-term impact on TASBO and our members.”

– Tracy Ginsburg, Ed.D, CAE
Executive Director
Texas Association of School Business Officials

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“What has me worried is the loss of an opportunity to engage members in our advocacy efforts, in-person with legislators and their staff. Also, we understand the House and Senate will likely consider fewer bills, so issues that may be higher priority for our members may not be an overall priority.”

– Devorah Jakubowsky, CAE
Executive Director
Texas Air Conditioning Contractors Association

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To read more responses, TSAE members can login to the TSAE Exchange. Have a question you would like ask members? Send it to josh@tsae.org.

Photo credit: iStock.com/traveler1116

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