By Susan M. Redford, Executive Director
Texas Association of Counties
New Year is here, and I hope it is off to a great start for you and your county. Welcome to all of our new county officials.
This year promises to be busy for TAC and county officials with the start of the 88th Texas Legislature.
The TAC team, especially those in our Legislative Services department, stands ready to assist county officials with every aspect of the legislative process. TAC has worked hard to be a valued and trusted resource for you and our legislators throughout the interim, and we will build upon that work during the session, educating all involved on the issues affecting Texas
counties. This work is continuous – preparations for this session began before the ink was dry on bills signed into law last session.
There are several opportunities to stay informed and get involved.
Counties at the Capitol Legislative Day is Feb. 7, and we invite county officials to join us for an overview of the many facets of the legislative session, along with issue briefings and networking with fellow officials and legislators. We built time into the schedule for your individual meetings with legislators, and we look forward to hosting you at a reception at the TAC events center that evening.
Every Tuesday during the session, join us for Tuesday Morning Breakfasts from 7 to 8 a.m., in person at TAC or through a virtual option. The weekly event will provide the newest information about the everchanging legislative landscape at the Capitol. Get a game plan and a good meal before heading to the Capitol for meetings with legislators.
If you cannot attend a breakfast, look for a summary of the week’s developments in the County Issues newsletter, which is sent every Friday during the session.
I also encourage you to get involved with the state legislative process by participating in the Core Legislative Group. CLG members are tapped to provide legislative testimony on issues affecting county government. Members are encouraged to reach out to their legislators about specific legislation and to maintain consistent communication with them throughout the year.
Beyond the legislative session, other opportunities abound for continuing education and training. Healthy County Boot Camp is this month, and the County Management & Risk Conference is in March.
Following a very successful virtual event during the fall, the County Elections Academy returns this spring for an in-person education event that will explore electionsrelated topics of interest to counties.
TAC will host its first County Technology Conference in May. County officials, staff and IT personnel helped shape a terrific agenda that covers some of the biggest technology challenges facing counties today: cybersecurity, data storage, best practices, and more. The event is appropriate for county officials as well as IT personnel. Technology issues continue to be at the forefront of all issues in county government. This conference was developed to help counties plan for and address these needs.
Whether it is connecting over breakfast to discuss the latest legislative news, participating in county operations workshops and conferences, or learning more about emerging technologies, you can rely on TAC to support you throughout your term of public office. We are here to help and proud to serve all Texas counties.