The lawn out front of the Texas State Capitol building in Austin, this past Wednesday, was packed with people exercising their First Amendment right to free speech. Throughout the crowd were signs and banners decrying high taxes and big government. It was a Texas size tea party on a day symbolizing one of life’s certainties, taxes have to be paid.
The following day, Texas bondsmen were exercising their right to meet with their elected officials. The sizable contingency from the Professional Bondsmen of Texas were negotiating the maze of hollowed halls within the state capitol building meeting with the Representatives and Senators from their respective districts.
This initiative was the brain child of PBT President John McClusky who, as part of his acceptance speech after being elected to his position, promised to build a grass roots effort within the bail bond community in an effort to bring awareness of the effectiveness of commercial bail to state legislators and for bondsmen to build relationships with their local representatives.
The legislative visits were incorporated into the agenda of PBT’s 2nd Quarter Meeting, held at the Doubletree Hotel located within walking distance of the Capitol. Approximately thirty bondsmen, surety company representatives and lobbyists for PBT took part in this effort considered a success by any measure.
The PBT association continues to impress. Their organization, participation and leadership is second to none. I attended the PBT Legislative Committee meeting on April 15. The committee, chaired by Dallas area bondsman Scott Walstad, was run efficiently. Difficult to do when you have 18 members with varying opinions. The committee went through each of the more than 50 bail related bills one at a time to ensure each piece of legislation was carefully reviewed with the board taking a formal position on each whether to support or oppose. Thy lobbying team hired by PBT has proven themselves to be capable and dependable, worthy traits necessary to handle such an overwhelming task. Because unlike death and taxes, the legislative process is anything but certain.
I’m returning to Salem, Oregon next week for a hearing before the House Judiciary on a bill amendment which would reinstate the use of commercial bail in Oregon. In early May I’ll be attending the GAPB meeting on St. Simons Island, Georiga. Hope to see you there.
If you have been following the Oregon updates you may want to tune into the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, April 21. Click here to link to the appropriate site.