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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

    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:

    • Natural Resources  
      • Support efforts to protect and improve air quality. 
      • Support funding for expansion and development of alternative sources of water. 
      • Support best practices for water conservation and protection of water quality. 
      • Support funding of near-term and long-term flood mitigation strategies that provide meaningful and cost-effective solutions to protect life and property. 
      • Support flood mitigation funding options that encourage regional cooperation among existing local, regional, and state entities. 
      • Support efforts to update and modernize local development requirements, including those related to floodplains, drainage, and detention. 
    • Energy
      • Support legislation enabling new technologies in energy production. 
      • Support the continued exportation of oil and gas. 
      • Support a measured and balanced approach to alternative and renewable energy. 

    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 The Woodlands area as a destination for events and festivals. 
    • Support funding for programs that benefit travel and tourism, including the cultural arts. 
    • Support preservation of funding for state tourism promotion. 

    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 economic growth and residential concerns. 
      • Support the communication and collaboration among and between regional stakeholders to address current and future mobility and funding opportunities in order to achieve a strategic regional plan. 
      • Support continued state funding for the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and encourage local entities to apply for funding. 
      • Support reasonable alternative transportation options that will relieve congestion and improve mobility throughout the region. 
      • Support a unified strategic mobility plan to improve access to The Woodlands Medical Center North.
      • Support the acceleration of the I-45N Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study.  
    • State
      • Support policies to limit diversion of transportation dollars to other programs.
      • Support increased state funding for the transportation projects. 
    • Federal
      • Support programs/legislation that will maximize national highway funding.
      • Support the streamlining of federal regulations to shorten transportation project timelines.  

    Utility Infrastructure/Technology

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

    • Support a modern cost efficient regulatory process which encourages infrastructure investment that is fair and timely to both the utility and customers. 
    • Support fair and equitable treatment of all utilities located in state and municipal rights of way. 
    • Oppose efforts to regulate broadband internet services as a public utility. 
    • Oppose duplicative state cybersecurity mandates. 

    Elections

    Voter participation is essential to maintaining a vibrant and accountable government at all levels. 

    • Support cost effective initiatives that improve the voter experience and increase voter turnout. 
    • Support consideration of alternative voting methods. 
    • Support access to unbiased and factual information about elections. 
       

    For more information, please contact Lupe Cuellar

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