By Elna Christopher
Director of Media Relations
House State Affairs passed out a committee substitute to HJR 56 on March 24, after hearing testimony on March 9, with numerous county officials and organizations testifying in favor of it.
The committee substitute makes it crystal clear that the constitutional amendment does not include school districts, which has been a sticking point with some House members.
By 11 a.m. March 25, the Texas Association of Counties (TAC) had received 223 resolutions from counties supporting HJR 56, the unfunded mandates constitutional amendment by Rep Burt Solomons (R-Carrollton).
Many of the remaining 31 counties have either passed the resolution and said they will send it to TAC or have set the resolution on their next meeting agendas, so we are optimistic that all 254 counties will show solid support for the prohibition against most future unfunded state mandates. Please either e-mail a signed copy to or fax to Elna at (512) 478-3573.
Here is the sample resolution in case you need it.
As of 11 a.m. March 25, there are 88 House members signed on to support HJR 56. If your representative is on this list of lawmakers who have not signed on please send him or her a copy of your resolution and ask for support as a co-author. Remember, it takes 100 votes to pass a constitutional amendment in the House.
The Senate companion, SJR 17 by Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas), has been referred to Senate State Affairs, but no hearing has been set yet.