Recreational Industry Association

Legislation and improved agency relations lower rates and favorably positions client for future participation.

Challenge:

Throughout the nation, state legislatures have faced a shortfall in revenue resulting in less funds available for appropriation. In response, state legislatures have slashed departmental funding to balance budgets. In an effort to capitalize on every available resource for funding, state agencies in Texas were ordered to increase revenue through fines and fees to cover the cost of regulatory programs licensed by the state. Many industries and associations were affected and were facing excessive increases in fines and fees.

Strategy:

A bill designed to lower the fines imposed on our association client was drafted and shepherded through the legislative process. The legislation cut fines in half and called for broader inclusion of industry stakeholders in the process. During the legislative session, association members were kept informed of the bill’s progress and served as advocates for the association’s position. Certain industry representatives were called upon to participate in hearings and meetings with legislators. Simultaneously, relationships were established at the agency level to allow dialogue with stakeholders in order to establish reasonable parameters for the fee structure. Creative proposals were offered and an agreement reached for a fair and equitable solution.

Result:

The bill passed with all the desired components. The industry now pays half the proposed penalty amounts and has negotiated lower licensing fees. Members of the association were educated about the legislative process and many actively participated in influencing decisions. By elevating the visibility of the association, representatives of the industry are assured a seat at the table in future agency discussions regarding regulatory changes.