Texas Republican Lobbyist News
Texas Hotel and Lodging Association
The following Republican Lobbyist update was produced by the Texas Lobby Group for one of our clients. We offer this digest of our original report for all Texas Lobbyists, Political Consultants, Texas Republican Politicians, and other interested parties.
Texas Political Primary Date
The Texas political primary elections will be May 29th, which is also the time of the traditional travel season in our state. Redistricting is a big issue this year. The Texas redistricting process is done every ten years. The latest attempts to redistrict have been in the courts off and all since the end of the 2011 legislative session. Everyone with an interest has been keeping an eye on this, but finally the lines have been drawn and the campaign season is beginning.
This brings up a number of pertinent issues for the TX Hotel and Lodging Assoc.
Redistricting generally leads to legislative retirements.
In the Texas House, one fifth of the congressmen are running for another office or retiring. This is inevitable, but it does mean that a lot of experience and knowledge will be leaving with them. This is a time when representatives from our industry should be available to help educate our new legislators about important issues in the Texas tourism and travel industry.
The redistricting delay means the election cycle will be later than usual.
Texans normally vote on Super Tuesday in March. But our later primary date may affect those who travel. This may mean an increase in early voting and voting my mail.
For all these reasons, the 2012 campaign season is going to be expensive. If you haven’t contributed to the HotelPAC, please click here.
KEY ELECTION DATES
Deadline to register to vote: April 30
Early voting period: May 14 – May 25
Deadline to request ballot by mail: May 22
Primary elections: May 29
Deadline to register to vote: October 9
Early voting period: October 22 – November 2
Deadline to request ballot by mail: October 30
General election: November 6
Texas Republican Lobbyist News from the Legislature
Go to www.capitol.state.tx.us to read about ongoing and upcoming hearings and committee charges. Both the Senate and the House are holding their hearings now.
In Texas the state legislature only meets every other year for 140 days. That means we must begin working now. Budget discussions for the next session have started, and our state budget is under examination, even after the deep cuts from the last session. Medicaid costs threaten to swamp us, and education activists have sued the state in an attempt to garner funds for education.
The good news is that Texas tax revenues are up, and we have created more jobs than any other State in the United States of America.
As always, budget discussions in Texas are intense and passionate. Some seek deeper budget cuts while others try to reclaim funds cut last session. We are keeping a close eye on the budget this year.
There is good news. The Texas economy is robust. Texas Comptroller Susan Combs stated that our sales tax revenue was up in February $2.10 billion dollars over 2011 figures – a 14.8 percent increase.
“Sales tax revenue in all major industries was up, indicating growth in both business and consumer spending” Combs said. “Rapid growth in tax collections continued from oil and natural gas sectors, while revenue from retail trade, restaurants and telecommunications was also up significantly.”