Public Policy Committee releases new legislative agenda this year

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November 30, 2016

The Richardson Chamber’s legislative agenda for 2017 has been approved by the Public Policy Committee and Board of Directors. These priorities address issues that are vital to Richardson businesses and citizens, especially in the areas of economic development, workforce development, education, transportation, water and local government. View the legislative agenda here.

Significant changes were added to the previous agenda to address rising issues including the skills gap and property taxes, as well as new programs such as the Governor’s University Research Initiative for higher education institutions.

Requests for continued or increased funding were made for important economic programs such as the Skills Development Program and Texas Enterprise Fund to stay competitive with other states in attracting new businesses.

In education, the Chamber supports funding for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs, high-quality, full-day pre-kindergarten and the Engineering for Life program at the University of Texas at Dallas. The agenda also included support for policies that encourage construction of a privately-funded high speed rail, accelerated permitting for water resources, and local control for the Richardson community.

During this historic election year the Public Policy Committee welcomed local, state and federal representatives to the Chamber and helped members get out the vote .

The committee introduced public policy special events, featuring Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and State Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. They also hosted several policy experts, including federal policy expert John Gonzales, Director of Congressional and Public Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Cal Jillson, professor of political science at SMU.

State Representatives Angie Chen Button, Linda Koop and Jeff Leach visited the Chamber last summer to listen to citizens and small businesses of Richardson and share their top priorities. Representatives from local communities such as Richardson ISD and Dallas County Community College District spoke to the committee as well, to develop the Richardson Chamber’s priorities for the upcoming state legislative session in 2017.

Before primary and general elections, the Richardson Chamber’s deputy voter registrars also helped members actively engage in the legislative process by registering their employees to vote. Nearly 250 voter applications were delivered to the Dallas and Collin County election offices from companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, State Farm, Fossil and Lennox.

For more information about the legislative agenda and to subscribe for legislative alerts, special events or other news, visit www.richardsonchamber.com/advocacy.
Contact:
Kedzie Arrington, Legislative Administrator
kedzie@richardsonchamber.com, (972) 792-2807