As of today, there are only 23 days left in the 83rd Regular Session of the Texas Legislature. Click here to see a list of important deadlines.

Water

Last week, HB 11 was stopped in the House after House Speaker Joe Straus sustained a point of order made by Representative Sylvester Turner. Representative Turner objected to the bill because he opposed an amendment to HB 11 that could have forced other parts of the budget to be cut to fund water infrastructure.

HB 11 has majority support in the House, and Governor Perry has stated that he is committed to passing water legislation this Session. Perry has also stated that he will call the Legislature into Special Session if lawmakers fail to act on water, transportation, or tax relief during Regular Session. Regular Session ends on May 27.

HB 11 would fund the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) by appropriating $2 billion from the Rainy Day Fund.

The Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce strongly supports HB 4 and HB 11, as they are critical to economic development in Texas.

HB 11 now returns to committee for further consideration. The Chamber urges lawmakers to pass water legislation this Session. If this issue cannot be addressed in Regular Session, the Chamber supports a Special Session to deal with this legislative priority. We will continue to monitor HB 11, and we will update you on its progress in the coming weeks.

The Dallas Morning News wrote an important editorial on the need to pass a water funding plan. You can read it here.

Drug Testing for Unemployment Benefits

In March, the Chamber passed a resolution supporting legislation that would require drug testing for the receipt of unemployment benefits. We are pleased to see that this legislation has strong support in the legislature.

SB 21, which will set up a system for limited drug screening for people receiving unemployment benefits, passed the Texas State Senate and was voted out of the House Economic Development and Small Business Committee earlier this week. SB 21 is now in Calendars.

The Chamber hopes that this bill will move to the House floor very soon for a vote. SB 21 is a priority bill for the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce, and we will continue to advocate for passage of this important legislation.

Business Tax Relief

The Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce supports all efforts to provide tax relief to businesses.

Businesses in Texas pay 60 percent of the taxes. In Irving, businesses bear 72 percent of the tax burden. The Chamber believes that if we are going to reduce taxes, we need to reduce taxes on our businesses.

The Texas Association of Business (TAB) has launched a campaign to build legislative support for Governor Perry’s plan to cut taxes for businesses.

The Governor’s plan has four parts:

  • It reduces the franchise tax rate by 5%.
  • It provides a $1 million deduction for businesses with revenue up to $20 million.
  • It lowers the rate for EZ form filers.
  • It gives companies that move to Texas a one-time deduction of moving expenses in the first year they pay the franchise tax.

The Chamber supports this plan, and we urge you to follow the link below to send a message to your representatives.

It is vital that we send a strong and united message to our elected officials that we need this tax relief as proposed by Governor Perry in order to keep our economy strong and moving.

Click here to log in and send your message

To receive updates from the Chamber’s Legislative Advocacy Team, please email jsimon@irvingchamber.com.

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