Local governments spend tax dollars to hire registered lobbyists. These hired hands advocate for more government. In doing so, they impede Texans’ right to petition their elected officials.

Key points

  • The right to petition is a constitutional right that ensures elected representatives hear from more than a select few supporters or special interests. It is intended to empower citizens, not the government.
  • Governments do not have rights. Governments have powers. Only people have rights.
  • Despite the constitutional order, Texas local governments frequently hire registered lobbyists to advocate for their causes at the statehouse. This practice promotes bad policy and frustrates people’s free exercise.
  • In 2021, local governments spent as much as $75 million on external lobbying activities.