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  • The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce | Legislative Priorities 2019

    Approved by The Chamber Board on August 31, 2018. 

    Purpose of Agenda: The purpose of the Business Advocacy’s Legislative Agenda is to summarize the important legislative goals and areas of concern to our community.                 


     Economic Development

    Economic development in Texas is enhanced by strong support of transportation infrastructure, tourism, health care, education, water and natural resources. We encourage multicultural actions on the following vital initiatives to economic development: 

    • Support pro-growth tax policies and reforms.
    • Support continuation of financial incentives that encourage growth and foster innovation. 
    • Support continued evaluation and analysis of plans for the future governance of The Woodlands.
    • Support entrepreneurial efforts for small businesses. 
    • Support fair and balanced free trade agreements that make the flow of international commerce more efficient and profitable. 
    • Support environmentally conscious economic development.  

    Education & Workforce

    The Chamber wants the best education possible for our community and the best economic environment to foster quality job growth.

    • Public Education & Workforce
      • Support updated funding mechanisms emphasizing accountability and productivity for primary and secondary education  
      • Support policies, initiatives and vocational training that will increase workforce readiness. 
      • Support increased local and state control of school districts to limit unfunded mandates. 
      • Support policies and initiatives that strengthen school safety. 
      • Support mental health policies and initiatives that increase awareness and identify potential developmental needs.
      • Support attraction, preparation and retention of Texas school teachers. 
      • Support equity of access to advanced curriculum and technology. 
    • Higher Education
      • Support increased funding for health care professional training, and engineering technology programs. 
      • Support increased funding for healthcare residency programs and retaining Texas-trained physicians.
      • Support capital building programs.  

    Health Care

    Promote policy that protects our local health care industry and businesses.

    •   Local
      • Support continued growth of The Woodlands Medical Center North. 
      • Support funding for mental health policies and initiatives.
      • Support patient access to high-quality, low-cost health care in our community
    •  State
      • Support the preservation of increased reimbursement rates for healthcare professionals. 
      • Support the preservation of a robust Designated Trauma Facility and EMS fund. 
      • Support the continuation of the 1115 Medicaid Transformation at current funding levels. 
      • Support increased funding for physician and nursing residency programs. 
    • Federal
      • Support the portability of health insurance and coverage.
      • Support businesses’ ability to provide affordable health care coverage to their employees.

    Natural Resources & Energy

    The continued production of energy and stewardship of our natural resources is vital to a sustainable national and local economy. We encourage support of the following initiatives:

    • Water
      • Support funding for expansion and development of alternative sources of water
      • Support conservation best practices
    • Energy
      • Support legislation enabling new technologies in oil and gas production
      • Support the expansion of research in alternative energy sources
      • Support the continued exportation of oil and gas

    Tourism

    Travel is an important industry in Texas, and the state is a favorite destination for both domestic and international visitors. Tourism revenues provide significant economic benefits for the Texas economy.

    • Support events and festivals choosing The Woodlands area as a destination
    • Support comprehensive transportation infrastructure planning for future area events in The Woodlands.
    • Support funding for programs that benefit Travel and Tourism at the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TP & WD), Texas Historical Commission (THC), Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and Texas Commission On the Arts (TCA)

    Transportation

    Transportation is a core concept to every aspect of daily life in any community. To maintain a healthy business climate and quality of life, the priority for this infrastructure must not only be its maintenance but also its expansion in times and areas of high growth.

    • Local
      • Support mobility that is compatible around growth and residents
      • Support the communication and collaboration among and between regional stakeholders to address current and future mobility and funding opportunities
    • State
      • Support policies to limit diversion of transportation dollars to other programs
      • Support increased state funding for the transportation improvement program (TIP)
      • Support additional proposition 1 funding for highway/transportation projects
    • Federal
      • Support programs/legislation that will maximize national highway funding

    Utility Infrastructure/Technology

    Support a strong and reliable utility infrastructure system capable of attracting new business and industry with competitive costs that embrace new technology to provide an enhanced customer experience.

    • Support a strong and reliable electrical utility system and a cost efficient regulatory process that embraces technology such as digital electronic meters that is fair to both the utility and customers
    • Oppose efforts to regulate broadband internet services as a public utility, similar to gas and water supply
    • Oppose cybersecurity mandates that place unreasonable and/or duplicate efforts underway at the federal level in order to protect valuable company resources

    Elections

    • Support legislation that will reduce the length of early voting time to one week. This will save the community time and money.
    • Support legislation to increase the electioneering buffer zone100 ft.- 250 ft.
    • Support voting centers

     

     

    For more information, please contact:

    Lupe Cuellar

    Director of Government Affairs

    lupe.cuellar@woodlandschamber.org | 281.363.8106

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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