2021 State Legislative Priorities
ECONOMIC PROTECTIONS FOR EMPLOYERS
The Partnership recognizes the need to protect the rights of employers to operate in the most effective manner in alignment with company and free market principles. We support legislative efforts made to enable continuance of business operations during and/or following disasters and catastrophic events such as pandemics, electric grid failure and flooding. Legislation which helps protect our businesses and strengthen our area’s resiliency will help businesses rebound and prevent future economic stress.
- PANDEMIC LITIGATION PROTECTION: Support measures to protect employers who comply with federal and state guidelines from litigation stemming from open ended liability due to COVID-19 exposure or future pandemics.
- UTILITY RELIABILITY: Support measures to ensure utility reliability for businesses.
- FLOOD RESILIENCE: Supports the state’s ongoing role in improving Texas’ flood resilience, leveraging the $2 billion appropriation made during the 2019 legislative session towards Hurricane Harvey recovery and future flood mitigation including an ongoing dredging program for Lake Houston and the East and West Fork of the San Jacinto River.
- REGULATORY CONSISTENCY: We support efforts to provide regulatory consistency and avoid regulations and/or local ordinances aimed at dictating business operations or otherwise interfering with the employer/employee relationship.
The Partnership supports the reauthorization of competitive economic development tools including the Chapter 313 property tax abatement program. These tools are critical to bringing new businesses to the region and growing our economy and should be reauthorized.
TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE
Transportation infrastructure will be important in facilitating economic recovery as well as a critical link to spurring job creation and job growth. The Partnership believes in maintaining transportation funding options.
The Partnership believes our people are our greatest asset, and all Texans should have equitable access to the institutions that power a strong, diverse economy and create true opportunity for all.
- PUBLIC EDUCATION: A strong public education system is vital for the long-term prosperity of our region. In 2019, House Bill 3 significantly increased the state’s investment in public education and directed some of that funding toward transformational initiatives. It is critical to protect a well-funded, accountable and equitable public education system that serves all children and strengthens our talent pipeline.
- HIGHER EDUCATION: The Partnership supports policies that protect higher education funding and innovative programming options in the region while increasing educational attainment rates, particularly in high-demand fields, with appropriate recognition of the impacts of COVID-19. The Partnership will also pursue policies that lead to more equitable access and attainment across the higher education ecosystem.
- HEALTHCARE: Following COVID-19 and in recognition of the lessons learned in combating the pandemic, sustainable policies protecting our health care safety net, increasing patient resources and access to care are needed to build a healthier
- WORKFORCE TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT: Maintain and expand opportunities to access workforce training for retooling and upskilling the current workforce.
- BROADBAND: The Partnership supports efforts to develop a state Broadband Plan that provides for access to all Texans.
- RACIAL AND SOCIAL EQUITY: The Partnership recognizes our responsibility to strengthen trust within our communities and offer support towards removing barriers to inclusivity and success. These issues will include policies related to equitable access to pillars of our society such as public education and health care as well as action to address inequality through employment and entrepreneurship.