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With Republicans in control, it was a whole new kind of session for legislators and lobbyists during the 78th session of the Texas Legislature. It was even more extraordinary after 51 Democratic House members fled Texas to a Holiday Inn in Ardmore, Okla., for a few days in May to deny a quorum and stop consideration of a Republican congressional redistricting bill. A severe budget shortfall made it tough, with lobbyists and their clients coping with cuts in funding. But the Legislature did manage to pass a tort reform bill, legislation that may lead to lower homeowner insurance rates, and an ethics bill. And lawmakers and lobbyists will be back in Austin for at least one special session, on school finance. Texas Lawyer looked at the results for selected clients at some of the busiest firm lobby shops for the 2003 session, which ended on June 2. We used our judgment and categorized the results as hits — those that make clients happy — and misses — those where clients got some of what they wanted and some of what they didn’t. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld Lead lobbyists — Number of clients — Total reported compensation Thomas J. Bond, Jill Ann George, Helen Gonzalez, Alexander “Sandy” Kress, Demetrius McDaniel, John Pitts, Jody Richardson — 41 — $955,000-$2,085,000 HITS Clark/Bardes Consulting: pleased with no unfavorable bill restricting so-called “dead peasant” corporate life insurance policies AT&T: happy with no bill deregulating broadband Citigroup Inc.: pleased with resolution asking voters to amend Texas Constitution to allow lines of credit with home-equity loans First Data Corp. and eFunds Corp.: pleased with language in identify-theft bill that gives the check-clearing agencies a way to do their job, even when a reported theft puts a freeze on an account American Seafood Distributors Association: pleased with resolution that asks the federal government to look into the use of chemicals and antibiotics in imported seafood MISSES Texas Association of Health Plans: opposed bill that sets deadlines for managed-care organizations to promptly pay medical claims filed by doctors Andrews & Kurth Lead lobbyists — Number of clients — Total reported compensation Stephanie A. Kroger, Phillip D. Oldham — 2 — $75,000-$150,000 HIT Texas Industrial Energy Consumers and Texas Coalition for Competitive Electricity: pleased, for electricity cost reasons, that Legislature didn’t pass bills providing state subsidies for some new power technologies IN THE MIDDLE Texas Industrial Energy Consumers and Texas Coalition for Competitive Electricity: because of cost-effectiveness standard, can live with bill that gives Public Utility Commission authority to allow construction of new transmission lines in areas with overabundant power generation Baker Botts Lead lobbyists — Number of clients — Total reported compensation Tristan Castaneda, Kimberley Sherman, Robert Strauser — 26 — $460,000-$1,125,000 HITS Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County: pleased with transportation bills city of San Antonio: success in getting some clear-air funding to help prevent pollution in at-risk areas Fort Stockton Economic Development Corp.: got some rural economic development money earmarked for spaceport development MISS Zachry Group Inc.: time ran out on bill that would allow Texas Department of Transportation to award road contracts to a consortium that would do both design and construction IN THE MIDDLE American Automobile Association: not thrilled with bill that limits new ownership by insurance companies of body shops Bickerstaff, Heath, Smiley, Pollan, Kever & McDaniel Lead lobbyists — Number of clients — Total reported compensation John Donisi, Myra McDaniel, Penny Redington — 7 — $140,000-$310,000 HITS Rio Grande Valley Partnership: created a river authority for the Rio Grande from Webb County south to the Gulf of Mexico Texas Timber Counties Coalition: reached a compromise with timber industry regarding capitalization rate set for property taxes MISS village of Bee Cave: unable to block a bill that forces Bee Cave into a regional library district, thus rolling back Bee Cave’s economic development tax IN THE MIDDLE village of Bee Cave: amended a section added to local government code regarding political signs to meet community’s preferences Bracewell & Patterson Lead lobbyists — Number of clients — Total reported compensation James L. Chapman, Russell Johnson, Shannon Ratliff, J. David Thompson, Jill Warren, Mindy Ellmer (outside consultant to B&P) — 29 — $735,000-$1,505,000 HITS Lyondell Chemical Co.: helped defeat franchise tax that applied to some of company’s operations Poseidon Resources Corp.: shortened brine mitigation disposal process by at least 18 months to two years; also obtained rider for $1.5 million for desalinization research feasibility study Texas Manufactured Housing Association: legislation expanding lending and financing options for consumers wanting manufactured housing Omega Protein: defeated rider that would have increased commercial licensing fees Jobe Concrete Products: lead on legislation to facilitate concrete recycling operations MISSES Cap Rock Energy Corp.: unable to defeat legislation that will force small, investor-owned utility to transition to retail competition in a shorter period of time than preferred Trinity Mother Frances Health System: would have liked to defeat legislation that restricts retirees’ healthcare networks Gardere Wynne Sewell Lead lobbyists — Number of clients — Total reported compensation Jessica Akard, Stephen Koebele, A.W. Pogue, Carl Richie, Caroline Scott, Robert Spellings, Mark Vane, Kimberly Yelkin — 51 — $375,000-$1,335,000 HITS Pre-Paid Legal Services Inc.: likes transfer of regulation of sale of prepaid legal insurance from the Texas Department of Insurance to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation city of Austin: happy with creation of Central Texas Hospital District VIA Metropolitan Transit Authority: got ability to collect telecom sales tax Novartis: happy with defeat of proposal for state to provide transportation for people to go to Mexico to buy prescription drugs MISS Texas Thoroughbred Association: wanted video lottery at race tracks Hughes & Luce Lead lobbyists — Number of clients — Total reported compensation John M. “Jack” Erskine, Myra Leo, Larry D. McGinnis, Cynthia M. Ohlenforst — 29 — $1,145,000-$2,175,000 HITS Texas Humane Legislation Network: got new standards for euthanizing animals in shelters Electronic Data Systems Corp.: pleased with results of tax measures Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority: happy with transportation bills MISSES Ace Cash Express Inc. and Cash America International Inc.: wanted state regulation for payday lending, but didn’t fly GlaxoSmithKline: opposed changes in state purchasing system for pharmaceuticals, which was included in budget-driven health and human services reorganization Jackson Walker Lead lobbyists — Number of clients — Total reported compensation Zachary Brady, Kathy Hutto, Ed Small — 33 — $175,000-$690,000 HITS SAGEM Morpho Inc.: stopped a bill that would have deleted the authority for the company’s finger-imaging contract with the state Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association: legislation that requires cities to go through certain steps, such as drought contingency planning, before taking groundwater by eminent domain; also set valuation practices for eminent domain procedures Triad Hospitals Inc.: had rider added onto appropriations bill that allows higher Medicaid reimbursements for company’s rural hospitals with 100 or more beds MISS Texas Educational Diagnosticians’ Association: session ended before able to get approval of statutory requirement for certification IN THE MIDDLE Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation Inc.: organization shares eradication costs with state, which committed to a reduced funding level Locke Liddell & Sapp Lead lobbyists — Number of clients — Total reported compensation John Arnold, Gary Compton, Yuniedth Midence, Robert Miller, Alan Waldrop — 31 — $1,755,000-$3,155,000 HITS Texans for Lawsuit Reform: happy with H.B. 4, the tort reform bill that puts a $750,000 total cap on non-economic damages in most medical malpractice suits Lakewood Church: got a property tax exemption for its lease with the city of Houston for the Compaq Center Houston Community College System: pleased with increase in lab fees to $24 per credit hour, the current maximum fee per course Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Corp.: bill regulates pipeline and utility use of railroad right-of-ways Pioneer Natural Resources Inc., Shell Oil Co.: exploration and production companies successfully fought bill that would have changed relationship between royalty owners and landowners Atmos Energy Corp.: got bill that lets gas utilities seek yearly rate hikes, instead of one rate increase at the end, to help pay for installation of new steel pipes to replacing aging pipes; also pleased with bill that would allow shareholders in Texas corporations to vote electronically on shareholder matters MISS HEALTHPLUS+: wanted increased state funding for urban hospitals providing indigent care Loeffler, Jonas & Tuggey Lead lobbyists — Number of clients — Total reported compensation Allen Beinke, Robert Finney, James Jonas, Noe Rangel, Hans Rickhoff, Murray Van Eman — 25 — $630,000-$1,245,000 HITS Wackenhut Corrections Corp.: successful in making the punishment for a violent crime against a private prison employee the same as a state prison employee under the Penal Code Martin Marietta Materials: secured air permit notice clarification for certain portable rock crushers Orbis Online Inc.: made statutory the reverse auction procedure for state agencies Pearson Education: restored funding to replace outdated elementary and middle school textbooks with new books aligned with Texas Essential Knowledge Skills (TEKS) MISS Capital One Financial Corp. and Citigroup Inc.; unable to pass legislation requested by credit industry to allow information exchange that would have facilitated a wider range of consumer-initiated inquiries and transactions IN THE MIDDLE Weston Solutions Inc.: helped obtain funding for coastal erosion projects McGinnis Lochridge & Kilgore Lead lobbyists — Number of clients — Total reported compensation J. Gaylord Armstrong, Ed McCarthy, Campbell McGinnis, Keith Strama, Robert Wilson — 21 — $630,000-$1,525,000 HITS EXXON Mobil Corp.: stopped legislation that would have set a minimum retail sales price for gasoline Texas Society of Architects: successfully completed sunset process and restructuring of regulatory board; act requires those doing design work to be registered architects in Texas Administaff Inc.: obtained some revisions to staff leasing act to clarify how company enters into contracts with customers Texas Cable and Communications Association: passed bill clarifying the ability of cable to cross state highways and rights-of-way; ended up with good cable theft law Vinson & Elkins Lead lobbyists — Number of clients — Total reported compensation Susan Feigin Harris, Elizabeth Rogers, Barron Wallace, Joe Bill Watkins, Ellen Witt — 23 — $570,000-$1,240,000 HIT BearingPoint LLC: state contractor on Texas online pleased with expansion and fine-tuning of project MISSES Texas Children’s Hospital: unhappy with funding that cuts thousands of children from the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Medicaid health insurance program for the poor Plymouth Financial Co. Inc.: company that purchases delinquent tax liens didn’t get bill to allow it in Texas market IN THE MIDDLE Association of American Publishers: troubled by reduced textbook funding, but a proposed 60 percent cut for the 2004-2005 biennium was reduced to 30 percent deferral for the second year Sources: Texas Ethics Commission filings and interviews with lobbyists.

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