Arnold Public Affairs often works with corporate clients, but also lobbies on behalf of nonprofit entities. Nonprofits often seek lobbyists for multiple reasons; to enact or oppose legislation that impacts their industry or constituents, to monitor particular pieces of legislation and update clients on changes, and to secure funding for projects.
Working with the Texas affiliate of the American Cancer Society, Arnold Public Affairs managed a coalition of nonprofits with the goal of increasing the cigarette tax by $1.00 per pack. An increase in the tax would help deter adolescents and adults from smoking as heavily and would bring over a billion dollars a biennium to the state. The .41 per pack cigarette tax had not been raised since 1990.
With a team of lobbyists and grassroots organizations, Arnold Public Affairs educated and persuaded a Republican-controlled legislature that had campaigned on a platform of no new taxes to raise the cigarette tax. After analyzing statewide polling, coordinating press conferences and educating members of the legislature, the coalition persuaded the legislature that a $1.00 increase in the tax would would cut down on adult and adolescent smoking, thus reducing the state’s health care costs, as well as bring in revenue to help fund a comprehensive education finance reform package.
Arnold Public Affairs continues to work on tobacco issues as part of the Smoke Free Texas coalition. Many communities across Texas have since adopted tobacco-free laws, which prohibit smoking in public areas. Likewise, many public universities in Texas have also endorsed similar initiatives. Read more about recently implemented tobacco free initiatives for smoke-free campuses:
- Texas State University: Texas State to become tobacco-free Aug. 1
- University of Texas at Arlington: Clearing the air on campus
- Huston-Tillotson University goes tobacoo-free