Houston, Harris County spending big on lobbying
Officials say money well-spent; critics disagree
— Houston Chronicle2
When the lawmakers convene in Austin next month, the city of Houston and Harris County, for example, will have more than a dozen hired guns to help track bills that might affect their operations.
They are among a group of the state’s largest cities and counties that have hired at least 42 individual lobbyists or firms, costing about $3 million, records show. Officials say it is money well-spent, given that lawmakers could file more than 1,000 bills affecting local governments’ revenue, rules and residents.
“Cities are essentially regulated industries, just like companies,” said John Hrncir, governmental relations director in Austin, which hired 10 lobbyists for more than $800,000. “Virtually everything a city does … can be impacted by the state Legislature.”
2 = article may expire in a few weeks.