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  • The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce | Legislative Priorities 2017

    Approved by The Chamber Board on May 27, 2016


    Mission Statement: The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce is committed to creating opportunities for business success by providing quality services and serving as an effective catalyst for the economic growth and prosperity of our community.
     

    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, health care, education, water and natural resources. We encourage actions on the following vital initiatives to economic development:

    • Support pro-growth tax policies and reforms
    • Support initiatives maintaining the existence of the Texas Enterprise Fund and The Texas Workforce Commission Skills Development Fund to encourage economic growth and foster innovation through financial incentives.
    • Support feasibility studies to explore future Incorporation of The Woodlands.
    • Support entrepreneurial efforts for small businesses

    Education & Workforce

    The Chamber wants the best education possible for our children 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 and initiatives that will increase workforce readiness
      • Support increased local and state control of school districts
      • Support equipping students for future careers/matching workforce skills and job opportunities
      • Support the expansion of career training education in our community colleges.
      • Support for increased vocational training starting at the High School level
    • 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 including tuition revenue bonds

    Financial Services

    The Chamber supports policies and programs that foster financial success and economic stability for all Texans.

    • Oppose the continuation of Dodd Frank  
    • Support common sense approach to reduced regulation  

    Health Care

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

    •   Local
      • Support continued growth in the emerging health care market
      • Support the funding for residency programs
      • Support the continuation of the 11 15 Medicaid Waiver
      • Support patient access to high-quality, low-cost health care in our community
    •  State
      • Support increased reimbursement rates for healthcare professionals through Medicaid programs
      • Support the preservation of the Driver Responsibility Program and the portion that gets distributed to the Designated Trauma Facility and EMS fund.
    • Federal
      • Support free markets in health care
      • Support TORT reform for medical claims
      • Support the portability of health insurance and coverage including the ability to carry across state lines
      • Support local 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:

    Angela Storseth-Cooper

    Director of Government Affairs & Events

    angela.cooper@woodlandschamber.org | 281.363.8110

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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