The End is in Sight

What to know: With the Legislative Session’s last day (sine die) just a week away, lawmakers are struggling to get important bills—such as a ban on taxpayer-funded lobbying—over the finish line.

The TPPF take: It’s in the interest of all Texans that legislators end the practice of local governments lobbying with your tax dollars.

“Despite the public seeing lobbyists as unethical swamp dwellers with too much power, they still wield considerable influence in the halls of Congress and the 50 state legislatures,” says TPPF’s Chuck DeVore. “Should SB 10 ultimately pass the Texas House in close to its original form, Texas will be one of the few states with meaningful restrictions on the use of public funds to lobby, a reform supported by 86 percent of registered Texan voters.”

For more on taxpayer-funded lobbying, click here.

That’s Progress

What to know: A bill that would require hospitals to post their prices or face increasing penalties has passed the Texas House.

The TPPF take: This bill is a win for consumers.

“The American Hospital Association claims that ‘disclosure of privately negotiated rates does nothing to help patients understand what they will actually pay for treatment and will create widespread confusion for them,’” says TPPF’s David Balat. “But what causes confusion is price discrepancies like $11 versus $1,000 for the same blood test. Texans support hospital price transparency—strongly.”

For more on price transparency, click here.

A Costly Lesson

What to know: The Colonial Pipeline is back online, after paying hackers $4.4 million in ransom.

The TPPF take: The shutdown of the nation’s largest pipeline—even temporarily—cause widespread fuel shortages, and reminded the nation just how dependent we are on fossil fuels.

“Solar and wind powered energy may sound intriguing, but they will never be reliable,” says TPPF’s Selene Rodriguez. “Perhaps the Colonial Pipeline shutdown will show fossil fuel foes just how important a role fossil fuels play in our everyday lives, and why phasing them out will be costly and impractical.”

For more on the Colonial Pipeline, click here.