2019 Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. 1 (2019)

handle is hein.sag/sagtx0221 and id is 1 raw text is: 






                                     KEN PAXTON
                                 ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TEXAS



                                      January 7, 2019



The Honorable Sarah Davis                       Opinion No. KP-0226
Chair, Committee on General Investigating
     & Ethics                                  Re: Whether a legislator may        receive
Texas House of Representatives                 payment from a unit of local government for
Post Office Box 2910                           lobbying activities (RQ-0228-KP)
Austin, Texas 78768-2910

Dear Representative Davis:

       You ask three questions about a legislator's authority to represent a unit of local
government before a state agency or another unit of local government.' You first ask whether and
when a legislator may receive payment from a unit of local government for.., lobbying, as that
term is described in Chapter 305, Government Code, either a state agency or another unit of local
government. See Request Letter at 1. While chapter 305 does not define the term lobbying, it
regulates communications to persuade members of the legislative or executive branch to take
specific action, primarily by requiring a person who communicates with legislative or executive
branch members in specified circumstance to register as a lobbyist. TEX. Gov'T CODE  305.001,
.003(a). A [m]ember of the executive branch includes officers and employees of any state
agency, department, or office in the executive branch of state government. Id.  305.002(4).
'Administrative action' means rulemakirg, licensing, or any other matter that may be the subject
of action by a state agency or executive branch office. Id.  305.002(1). A person must register
as a lobbyist if the individual (1) expends more than a threshold amount to communicate with a
member of the legislative or executive branch to influence legislation or

              (2) receives, or is entitled to receive under an agreement under
              which the person is retained or employed, compensation or
              reimbursement, [above a specified amount] from another person to
              communicate directly with a member of the legislative or executive
              branch to influence legislation or administrative action.

Id.  305.003(a). Legislators are excluded from the registration requirement of subsection
305.003(a)(2). Id.  305.003(b-1). And chapter 305 does not address communications with
officers or employees of local government. Nevertheless, for purposes of your question, we


       'See Letter from Honorable Sarah Davis, Chair, House Comm. on Gen. Investigating & Ethics, to Honorable
Ken Paxton, Tex. Att'y Gen. at 1 (Apr. 30, 2018), https://www2.texasattomeygeneral.gov/opinion/requests-for-
opinions-rqs (Request Letter).

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