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Legislative session kick-off a week away

 - TAB conference set for Jan. 24           

With the Texas Legislature set to convene next week, TAB is setting the stage for an aggressive advocacy campaign to help journalists and the public regain access to important public information on how tax dollars are spent – two of these bills were filed yesterday – as well as protect the many tax policy and newsroom victories we’ve secured in past sessions.

Part of the effort includes the 2016 Public Service Research Project, now underway, which seeks to quantify the value of the extensive service local Radio and TV stations provide Texas communities. The initial Jan. 3 survey deadline has been extended to COB Jan. 6.

The state’s tight fiscal situation and various parties’ interest in stemming government transparency makes for potentially choppy waters this session for broadcasters which is why station owners, GMs and news directors are encouraged to engage with lawmakers at TAB’s 2017 Legislative Day conference Jan. 24 in Austin.


To be certain, what any entity’s legislative agenda may be at the start of the session could be supplanted or expanded by unanticipated proposals that could harm broadcasters. That was the case in 2011 when an RIAA-backed bill was found to contain language that could hurt local Radio stations, and in 2015 when a measure was amended to essentially put motor vehicle accident reports off limits to journalists.                    

TAB succeeded in killing the RIAA measure and turned the accident report bill into a win for newsrooms, but those and all our legislative successes are rooted in local broadcasters’ good relationships with their state representatives and senators.

The Jan. 24 conference features a deep-dive into major state policy issues and broadcast-specific concerns, concluding with the Lawmaker/Broadcaster Luncheon which is popular for what it doesn’t have – any speakers. Instead, lawmakers are seated with their local broadcasters so they can discuss issues important to their communities and briefly review TAB’s policy interests.

Lawmakers respond best to their constituents – especially when time is short, and the luncheon is a great venue to strengthen important relationships and showcase the breadth and depth of the Texas broadcast industry.

The conference starts promptly at 10 am and concludes by 2 pm at the Austin Sheraton at the Capitol, just blocks from TAB’s offices.

Questions? Email Oscar Rodriguez or call (512) 322-9944.

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