The Chamber’s 2017 Texas Legislative Priorities were focused on creating a favorable business environment, supporting economic diversification, and developing a qualified workforce that results in sustainable economic growth and enhances our high quality of life.
- Provide adequate funding for Texas Enterprise Fund to keep it competitive by maintaining a $200 million balance for each biennium.
- Encourage capital investment in Texas by protecting the Texas Economic Development Act (Chapter 313).
- Eliminate or reduce business inventory tax.
- Continue to support local control and flexibility in the use of tax abatements, tax increment financing, reinvestment zones and other incentives to promote economic development and job creation.
- Support increased funding for the Skills Development Program administered by the Texas Workforce Commission and maintain Skills Development Fund grants to improve workforce training.
- Support entrepreneurs and small businesses via a healthy ecosystem of capital to attract, grow and retain companies in Texas. Innovative, high-growth companies require significant and specialized capital resources.
- Oppose any bill that would be viewed as discriminatory on the basis of gender, ethnicity, sexual preference identity that would damage Texas’s reputation as a “business-friendly” state.
- Support continued policy of no diversions of transportation tax revenue from their intended purpose.
- Affirm local decision-making by the regional Metropolitan Planning Organization to prioritize and fund transportation projects in North Texas.
- Ensure all project delivery tools are available to address growing congestion including toll roads, tolled managed lanes, etc.
- Support the privately-funded high speed rail project between Dallas and Houston.
PUBLIC EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE
- Provide for high-quality, full-day pre-K for all eligible children.
- Create an effective and equitable public school finance system that enables school districts to prepare students for post-secondary readiness.
- Expanding high-quality Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses aligned to meet workforce needs and provide students with opportunities to be successful in college and/or available technology careers.
- Support measures that give school districts the flexibility to meet the needs of their students.
- Improve postsecondary educational attainment and completion by supporting the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s 60x30TX plan. This would mean sixty percent of Texans between the ages of 25 and 34 will have a postsecondary educational attainment by the year 2030.
- Provide funding for one hundred percent of students eligible for the Texas grant program.
- Support efforts to increase the number of Texans with comprehensive health insurance and support the long-term extension of the Medicaid 1115 Transformation Waiver.
- Preserve and protect trauma funding in Texas.
- Support appropriations to address critical shortage of physicians, nurses and behavioral health professional including graduate medical education and Professional.
- Support Nursing Shortage Reduction Fund.
- Expand telemedicine in Texas as we strive to serve our patients better, especially vulnerable patients impacted by the social determinants of health.
- Protect the use of eminent domain authority for water providers to ensure their ability to provide a reliable and cost-effective water supply for our growing region.
- Vigorously oppose any legislation determined to prevent or slow the implementation of water management strategies included in the Texas State Water Plan.