We are often asked questions about whether or not a specific industry or company needs a lobbyist. The FAQs below should help answer some of those top level questions. If you still have questions, please feel free to reach out to us.
The Committee Process: The bill is then assigned to a committee for review. The chair of each committee decides when the committee will meet, and which bills will be considered. After considering a bill, a committee may choose to take no action or may issue a report expressing recommendation action. A printed copy of the report is then distributed to every member of the house or senate for consideration by the full body.
Lobbying is simply the sharing of information with the intent to influence opinion. Remember the episode of The Office when the Stanton branch had a surplus and needed to decide how to spend the money? Two opinions divided the office: buy a new copier or buy new office chairs. Pam made a case for new chairs emphasizing the importance of posture, comfort, health, and increased efficiency. This is lobbying. She shared information with the intent to influence the opinion of her co-workers—spreading information, advocating on behalf of her cause. In the political sense, lobbing is advocating to influence political decisions on behalf of a person, cause or organization. Research is shared with legislators expressing facts about a specific bill in the form of graphs, ROI, public testimony, polls, and reports.
Lobbyists are professional advocates with an acumen for legislation and persuasion. Lobbyist are hired to influence legislators in the interest of a company, industry or cause. Their influence can lead to the introduction of new law and the amendment of others
Origin of a Bill: The origin for a bill is the result legislators listening to grassroots efforts on behalf of the legislator’s constituents or the recommendation of an interim committee study conducted when the legislature is not in session. The idea is researched to determine what state law needs to be changed or created to best solve that problem. A bill is then written by and introduced by the legislator in the house or senate; the member's own chamber. After a bill has been introduced, a short description of the bill, called a caption, is read aloud while the chamber is in session so that all of the members are aware of the bill and its subject. This is called the first reading.
Opposite House's Amendments and Conference Committees: If a bill is returned to the originating chamber with amendments, the originating chamber can either agree to the amendments or request a conference committee to work out differences between the house version and the senate version. If the amendments are agreed to, the bill is put in final form, signed by the presiding officers, and sent to the governor.
Floor Action: When a bill comes up for consideration by the full house or senate, it receives its second reading and is debated by the full membership of the chamber, house or senate. During this process amendments are suggested. The members then vote on whether to pass the bill. The bill is then considered by the full body again for a third reading and final passage. A bill may be amended again on third reading, but amendments at this stage require a two-thirds majority for adoption. If a bill receives a majority vote on third reading, it is considered passed and a new copy of the bill which incorporates all corrections and amendments is prepared and sent to the opposite chamber for consideration.
Governor: Upon receiving a bill, the governor has 10 days in which to sign the bill, veto it, or allow it to become law without a signature. If the governor vetoes the bill and the legislature is still in session, the bill is returned to the house in which it originated with an explanation of the governor's objections. A two-thirds majority in each house is required to override the veto. If the governor neither vetoes nor signs the bill within 10 days, the bill becomes a law.
At different levels, we are all lobbyists. You may lobby your local bar to bring in your favorite beer or lobby a co-worker to support your proposal. A lobbyist at the legislative level is registered with the state’s ethics commission and takes part in organized conversation designed to influence legislators.
The Texas Ethics Commission. Chapter 305 of the Government Code requires all persons who meet either a compensation or expenditure threshold to register with The Texas Ethics Commission and file periodic reports of lobbying activities. Additionally, the Texas Ethics Commission regulates against certain direct communications with members of the legislative and executive branches of government Gov't Code §§ 305.001, 305.003(a).
It’s effective. Cultivating political influence will enable you to be everywhere, all the time. Engaging in political activity stimulates action in the modern political environment. It can keep the government out of your business, or it can make the government a partner in your business.
It’s important for members of the legislature to understand the needs of its constituents and businesses within the local community. By leveraging contacts with policy makers, Capitol Insights bridges the gap between the client’s voice and legislative agenda. While the process of assigning a bill to committee is an effective way to allow for a more detailed review of a bill, often there’s not enough time for detailed, granular understanding. Capitol Insights presents legislators with research about a specific bill in the form of graphs, ROI, public testimony, polls, and reports. This research serves as the backbone of a positive relationship between your company and the state and local government. We are political visionaries, advocates, researchers and effective communicators. Let us help your needs be heard.