Public policy significantly impacts businesses and their ability to operate. From transportation initiatives to workforce funding to tax law, legislation influences the competitiveness and profitability of our businesses. The Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce uses an integrated approach to develop our policy positions and then proactively advocates. Our culture of collaboration has been vital to addressing challenges in an increasingly competitive global economy.
The Chamber’s 2019 Texas Legislative Priorities are focused on creating a favorable business environment, supporting economic diversification, developing a qualified workforce resulting in sustainable economic growth and enhancing 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.
- Protect the pubic-private partnership economic development model and oppose legislation that would make nonprofits, with public service contracts and transparent reporting requirements, subject to open records laws or force the release of propriety information.
- Reauthorize Chapter 312 of the Texas Tax Code and continue allowing local property taxing entities to execute tax abatement agreements for the encouragement of private investment.
- Encourage capital investment in Texas by protecting the Texas Economic Development Act (Chapter 313).
- 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.
- Support legislation that would make the City of Irving eligible to pursue a Tourism Public Improvement District.
- Oppose any bill that would be viewed as discriminatory that would damage Texas’ reputation as a “business-friendly” state.
TAXES & INVESTMENT
- Eliminate or reduce the business inventory tax.
- Continue to support flexibility in the use of tax abatements, tax increment financing, reinvestment zones and other incentives to promote economic development and job creation.
- The Chamber stands behind well-run, financially fiscal cities like the City of Irving and will monitor legislation that would reduce the City of Irving’s flexibility to address budget issues in a manner best suited for its jurisdiction.
- 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, comprehensive development agreements, etc.
- Support the privately-funded high speed rail project between Dallas and Houston.
- Promote the innovation of initiatives to promote better mobility.
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 theTEXAS grant program.
- Support continued funding for the Tuition Equalization Grant program to enable students with financial needs to attend private, non-profit colleges or universities in Texas.
- 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 to lessen the impact of uncompensated emergency care.
- Support appropriations to address critical shortage of physicians, nurses and behavioral health professional including graduate medical education and Professional 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.
- Provide adequate funding for behavioral outpatient care programs and expand inpatient facilities to provide mental health services more efficiently than settings such as emergency rooms and jails.
- Renew the Local Provider Participation Fund (LPPF) for Dallas County to maximize federal matching funds for Medicaid supplemental payment programs.
- 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.