Government &
Legislative Reform

Task Force

The Government and Legislative Reform Task Force will continue TCCRI’s efforts in a variety of areas to help ensure that the state and local governments in Texas operate efficiently and with due respect for the rights of Texans. Newly added is the “legislative reform” aspect of the Task Force, which will explore ways to make the legislative process more efficient and transparent. The Task Force will also study the role of various state agencies and boards with the goal of keeping them focused on their core constitutional and statutory responsibilities. Specific topics for the Task Force will include: the Legislative Budget Board, civil asset forfeiture reform, public sector union release time, and criminal justice reform, among others.

Task Force Topics: 
 

  • Legislative Budget Board: audit LBB fiscal notes, scale-back LBB involvement in activities beyond its core mission (oversight of state contracting, Government Effectiveness & Efficiency Report [GEER]), refocus LBB on providing objective budget data and projections). 
     

  • Local and Consent Calendar: Consider the extent to which the local calendar is abused and consider reforms, including possibly removing “consent” and requiring that all non-local bills and resolutions be placed on the general state calendar.  
     

  • Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform: shift the burden of proof in an “innocent owner” defense from the person alleging the defense, to the government. 
     

  • Criminal Justice Reform: repeal Section 12.44 of the Penal Code, which allows state jail felonies to be punished as Class A misdemeanors, discuss appropriate penalties for marijuana possession.  
     

  • Election Code Reform: Continue to promote election integrity, explore requirements that all elections be held on the uniform date in November, and requiring clarity and transparency in ballot propositions. 
     

  • Public Safety Reform: Consider laws that require local law enforcement departments to employ a specific number of officers that is proportionate to the population and other measures to ensure that public safety is upheld across Texas. 
     

  • Public Sector Union Release Time: prohibit the practice of paying a public employee a public salary for time spent in union recruiting and representation activities.