POLITICS: Lobbying

Funding Cut as Film, Video Game Lobbies Squabble

Naveen Nattam (l) Sean Riley (r) play games during their lunch break at Twisted Pixel, a video game company in Austin. Texas is second in the nation for video game industry employment and promoting further growth with incentives and training.
Naveen Nattam (l) Sean Riley (r) play games during their lunch break at Twisted Pixel, a video game company in Austin. Texas is second in the nation for video game industry employment and promoting further growth with incentives and training.

The incentive fund for attracting film and video game companies to Texas is about to take a major budget hit. Advocates for both industries are licking their wounds, and blaming each other for failing to present a united front.

Ethics Legislation Headed to Senate Floor

State Rep. Van Taylor, R-Plano, talks with a member on the House floor on May 16, 2011.
State Rep. Van Taylor, R-Plano, talks with a member on the House floor on May 16, 2011.

A heavily watered-down ethics reform bill will soon be taken up by the full Senate. Lawmakers on Monday rejected an amendment that would have required legislators to publicly disclose their tax returns each year.

 

Analysis: A Distinctive Push for Business Tax Repeal

Some officeholders have raised the idea of replacing Texas' property tax with a larger sales tax. But that could create some new fiscal challenges.
Some officeholders have raised the idea of replacing Texas' property tax with a larger sales tax. But that could create some new fiscal challenges.

As lawmakers debate what kinds of tax cuts they like best, and voters point at property taxes as their favorite, a national conservative group is starting a grassroots campaign to promote repeal of the state's business margins tax. 

Film Groups Want Separate Funding for Video Games

Naveen Nattam (l) Sean Riley (r) play games during their lunch break at Twisted Pixel, a video game company in Austin. Texas is second in the nation for video game industry employment and promoting further growth with incentives and training.
Naveen Nattam (l) Sean Riley (r) play games during their lunch break at Twisted Pixel, a video game company in Austin. Texas is second in the nation for video game industry employment and promoting further growth with incentives and training.

Texas film heavyweights are asking lawmakers to create a separate funding strategy for video game incentives instead of continuing shared funding with film and television incentives. The video game lobby isn't ready for a split.

Analysis: Taking Lobbyists' Money, Ignoring Their Calls

New Texas Sen. Konni Burton, c, stands with other incoming Senators during the swearing-in ceremony at the Texas Capitol Jan. 13, 2015.
New Texas Sen. Konni Burton, c, stands with other incoming Senators during the swearing-in ceremony at the Texas Capitol Jan. 13, 2015.

A new senator doesn't think taxpayer-supported governments should hire lobbyists to talk to other government officials and won't let those lobbyists come to her office. But she took their contributions during her 2014 campaign.