Newsletter

TPA pushes for transparency reform

Legislative sessions are always hectic, but the 2019 session is one of the busiest ever for the Texas Press Association. As of the March 8 filing deadline for regular legislation, lawmakers filed 7,081 bills. That figure does not include 1,524 resolutions covering everything from birthday congratulations to calls for constitutional amendments.

Analysis by Donnis Baggett, Texas Press Association

NNA backing Electronic Court Records Reform Act

National Newspaper Association is throwing its weight behind a bill to ease the cost of obtaining federal court records. Rep. Doug Collins, R-GA, introduced the Electronic Court Records Reform Act, which will require the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to consolidate its electronic filing systems and drop the fees for general public access. The bill is similar to one he introduced in late 2018.

By Tonda F. Rush, NNA Director of Public Policy

Critical legislative issues top busy agenda for TPA

Legislative sessions are always hectic, but the 2019 session could be one of the busiest ever for the Texas Press Association.
With the bill-filing deadline for regular legislation still two weeks away as of the Messenger’s deadline, lawmakers already had filed 4,259 pieces of legislation. The total could easily top 7,000 when the filing frenzy comes to an end.

Analysis by by Donnis Baggett, Texas Press Association

TPA members needed to help judge Tennessee Press Contests

Volunteers are needed to help judge the 2019 Tennessee State Press Contests, sponsored by the University of Tennessee and the Tennessee Press Association. Judging periods begin March 25 and April 1.

Tennessee Press has two contests with two judging periods:

Editorial contest: 

• Judging period starts March 25 

• 45 to 50 judges needed

Advertising/Circulation Ideas Contest:

• Judging starts April 1

• 10 to 15 judges needed

Political advertising and social media

The Texas Ethics Commission recently revised rules regulating disclosures in online political advertising. Among other changes, the new rule exempts political advertising shared or re-posted on social media by persons other than a candidate or political committee from general requirements to disclose the message as political advertising and to identify the candidate or person responsible for the ad.

By Paul C. Watler

Postal task force releases recommendations

The Task Force on the United States Postal System has issued its recommendations for reforming the nation’s mail service.
The task force, established in 2018, was charged with recommending administrative and legislative reforms to create a sustainable business model to continue to provide mail services for all Americans. The resulting 74-page report concluded the USPS has an outdated business model and is on an unsustainable financial path. Additional findings include: