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Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar speaks at Advocacy Day


2023 Advocacy Day

Members Meet with Legislators in Austin

By Kenneth Besserman, JD,
TXCPA Director of Government Affairs and Special Counsel

January 26, 2023

AUSTIN -  TXCPA’s Board of Directors, grassroots advocates, members, Key Persons, students and many others came to Austin on January 24, 2023 for the TXCPA Advocacy Day. More than 200 people attended the daylong event – the first in-person Advocacy Day since 2019.

It was great to be back in person and see everyone engaged in advocacy and supporting the TXCPA legislative agenda. We were very proud to have a number of accounting students from Trinity University in San Antonio attend and be a part of our successful Advocacy Day. 

The daylong program began with a presentation by Rachel Dresen, Senior Director of Congressional and Political Affairs at the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), whose presentation focused on federal issues facing the accounting profession and CPAs. Rachel focused on the political makeup of the new Congress, tax legislation, IRS updates, ESG issues, cryptocurrency regulations, STEM, and a host of other issues important to the profession. Rachel reminded the audience that AICPA and the state societies will make their visits to Washington, DC in May 2023 to lobby Congress on a host of other issues.

The Advocacy Day attendees next heard from Scott Braddock, editor of The Quorum Report and host of the Texas Take podcast. Scott gave the attendees an insiders’ look at the session, the dynamics between House Speaker Dade Phelan and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, and engaged the audience with a number of humorous anecdotes about the inner workings of the Texas Legislature. Scott reminded the audience that beyond property tax as the biggest issue facing the legislature, there are a number of state legislators and state officeholders who have higher elected office ambitions, and that often plays a big role in how the legislature tackles or does not tackle the issues before it. Scott’s entertaining presentation perfectly set the stage for the next presenter, Comptroller Glenn Hegar.


Members at Advocacy Day 2023

Trinity University students in Austin for Advocacy Day


Comptroller Hegar, a great friend of TXCPA, presented the audience with some of the best news that the Texas economy has ever had. There will be at least a $30 billion budget surplus that the legislature will have as it writes its next two-year budget. That number will likely grow as more federal funds come to the state and tax collections continue to skyrocket. The Comptroller also pointed out the need to continue to invest in infrastructure – highways, water, power grid, broadband internet connectivity – in order to keep up with the growing Texas economy and be able to service the rapidly growing Texas population. As always, Hegar was highly engaging and stayed longer to answer many questions from our advocates.  

The Advocacy Day presentations ended with an advocacy/legislative panel made up of Kenneth Besserman, TXCPA Director of Government Affairs and Special Counsel, and TXCPA contract lobbyists Denise Davis and Lisa Kaufman. The panel talked about the importance of advocacy and why it is important to “show up” and talk to the legislature about issues important to CPAs and the Society. 

The panel then focused on the TXCPA 2023 Legislative Priorities. The panel discussed SB 159/HB 797 – the bill to allow students and candidates to begin taking the CPA Exam after completing 120 hours of education, but still requiring 150 hours to obtain a CPA license. The CPA pipeline is one of the most important issues facing the profession and this legislation is one way to help with those pipeline efforts. 

Following the presentations, more than 200 Key Persons, members, advocates and students moved on to the Texas Capitol to meet with legislators and staff about our agenda and issues important to the profession. We had more than 90 meetings scheduled and a number of other meetings occurred spontaneously. Our attendees say that we had a fantastic reception in all legislative offices and offices were very interested in our 120-hour-to-test legislation.

Lastly, we had the fortunate opportunity for a short meeting and photo with Speaker Dade Phelan. Phelan made some time for us in his busy schedule as he is currently meeting with all 150 members of the House of Representatives in the tough task of making committee assignments.

TXCPA will follow up with legislators on the great work that our members and advocates began on Advocacy Day.


Members and students in the Chamber

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