5 Tips for Operating in the Texas Legislature

#1 – Remember that any expenditure you make that benefits any legislator, staffer or agency employee is a reportable lobby expenditure. Anything asked of a lobbyist which is provided is a lobby expenditure, even if it doesn’t directly relate to legislation or administrative activity.

#2 – Expenditures that exceeded the thresholds for detailed reporting —currently $90.00 per day for food & entertainment and $50 per day for gifts — mean the name of the recipient must be reported, as well as the details of the event or gift.

#3 – You cannot provide transportation or lodging. OK, there are a couple of exceptions for official fact-finding trips and conferences, but these are tricky and limited. Best advice: avoid all transportation and lodging. Period.

#4 – It is against the law for a public official to ask you to do or provide something that you are prohibited from doing — like not detail report a name when you have crossed a threshold, or make a loan, or provide lodging, or exceed an annual entertainment threshold.

#5 – Don’t forget that the annual limits ($500 for entertainment and gifts) apply to spouses, dependent children and guests of the public official as well.


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