2021 Legislative Agenda
The Richardson Chamber’s legislative agenda for 2021 has been created by the Public Policy Committee and approved by the 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.
Richardson Chamber of Commerce 2021 Legislative Agenda
- Support the continuation of funding for economic development incentive programs such as: the Texas Enterprise Fund, Event Trust Fund, Texas Tourism, the Texas Music Office, and the Texas Film Commission at levels that keep Texas competitive with other states.
- Support the continuation and revision of the Ch. 313 tax code to enable Texas to compete for major, capital intensive projects.
- Support legislation that improves racial equity in all sectors of the state including education, employment, healthcare, and criminal justice.
- Support local responsibility for property taxation decisions and appraisals
- Support the creation of a comprehensive and fully inclusive non-discrimination law.
- Oppose legislation that impairs the flexibility of local government to utilize all economic development tools currently available.
- Oppose any bill that would be discriminatory or otherwise damage Texas as a business-friendly state
- Support maintaining formula funding from the 86Th legislative session for public institutions of higher education including restoring the 5% mid-biennium cuts
- Continuing to invest in Small Business Development Centers and their professional business advising and training programs for small business owners, which are proven resources that strengthen the Texas economy.
- Support investing in keeping talent in Texas by incentivizing Texas high school graduates to attend Texas colleges.
- Support use of Economic Stabilization Fund to address one-time COVID-19 costs incurred by higher education institutions toward student refunds for housing, dining, meal plans and rapid conversion to online learning.
- Support continued funding of the Governor’s University Research Initiative, the Texas Research Incentive Program, and core research for institutions of higher education.
- Support legislation that enables the 60X30TX tri-agency plan of having 60% of Texans between the ages of 25-34 hold a degree or postsecondary certificate by 2030.
- Support the 300X300 plan, the partnership between local business leaders and the 50 Texas community college districts to prepare 300,000 students for in-demand careers in 300 days.
- Support maximizing the number of insured and reduce the number of underinsured Texans by securing available federal and state funds to reform and renew opportunities to broaden the net of coverage, particularly given the uncertain status of the Medicaid 1115 Waiver, ongoing or future health pandemics, as well as the need to close racial and socioeconomic inequality gaps.
- Support increased funding to ensure timely and appropriate access to inpatient and outpatient community-based services and support for Texans with a behavioral health diagnosis.
- Support ensuring adequate resources to address the social determinants of health by promoting health equity, literacy, and navigation; reducing health care disparities; encouraging cultural awareness and competency; and promoting prevention, wellness, and chronic disease management initiatives.
- Support legislation that preserves hospitals’ base Medicaid payment rates
- Support legislation to increase the funding and education of chronic condition awareness. Prevention and treatment; thereby decreasing the overall burden placed upon taxpayers across the state.
- Support increased funding, regulatory relief, and resources for emergency preparedness, response, and recovery related to emergencies impacting public health, including natural disasters, pandemics, and other events.
- Support continued funding for physician, nurse, behavioral health professional and allied health professional education and training.
- Support preserving local governments’ responsibility to establish appropriate means to adequately fund services and govern including establishing and maintain charters and ordinance making authority
- Support legislation that provides for enhanced local decision-making of local government including increasing the 3.5% revenue caps imposed on cities and countries to 6% or higher.
- Support repealing HB 2439, which prohibits cities from regulating construction of commercial/residential structures.
- Support repealing portions of HB 3167 to allow governing body to delegate to employees of the municipality to approve or deny plans and allow applicants to waive deadlines at their discretion.
- Oppose unfunded mandates placed on our local municipalities that are veiled as solutions for education funding.
- Oppose any attempt to limit or prohibit the authority of city, country, and school district officials to use public funds to communicate with legislators and state agencies, as well as pay membership dues to organizations that hire lobbyists.
- Oppose any legislation that increases revenue paid to the state of Texas by local government as a result of Texas increasing fines, fees or charges to local governments including but not limited to the 2% administrative fee for collection of local sales tax and municipal court fees.
- Oppose legislation that would erode municipal authority related to development matters, including with respect to the following issues: annexation, eminent domain, public right-of-way, zoning, and building codes.
- Oppose legislation that would eliminate any of the current uniform election dates.
- Support legislation that maintains public school funding levels established by HB3.
- Support methods to provide funding by average daily enrollment with appropriate compulsory attendance requirements.
- Full funding for high quality pre-K and early childhood education for all eligible children.
- Support regulations/legislation that uses federal funds to supplement rather than supplant funds to local education agencies and use of the state’s economic stabilization fund to reimburse COVID-19 costs incurred by school districts.
- Support legislation that provides for enhanced local decision-making of local education agencies including increasing the 2.5% revenue caps imposed on school districts to 4% or higher.
- Support investing in technology including infrastructure for greater student connectivity and access.
- Support maintaining funding for P-Tech and other early college and workforce readiness programs.
- Oppose any use of school district fund balances to offset state financial obligations.
- Support continuing to implement and adequately fund the Texas state water plan
- Support continuing to plan, implement and fund the Texas state flood infrastructure
- Support existing law relating to eminent domain authority to allow development of new water supply and distribution projects
- Support development of a state broadband plan and office that compiles resources needed for private deployment of mobile and fixed broadband networks to enhance access to public education, healthcare, employment, news, and information.
- Support maintaining existing law relating to eminent domain authority to allow development of new infrastructure
- Support continuing state legislation that maintains a network of air quality monitors throughout North Texas
- Oppose state data privacy/cyber security legislation that would create a “patchwork-quilt” of laws that would impede the growth of internet commerce for small and large businesses.
- Support existing law relating to eminent domain authority to allow planning and development of new and expanded transportation corridors.
- Support reinstating and implementing all transportation tools necessary for Texas Department of Transportation to stimulate the economy and create jobs through construction of transportation projects through available financing avenues.
- Support continuing the policy of no diversions from the highway trust fund
- Support continuing efforts to recapture all of Texas federal transportation tax dollars that are disbursed in other states.
- Oppose any legislation or executive order that may reduce or divert funds from voter approved propositions 1 and 7.
- Oppose any attempt to increase truck size and weight limits or create additional heavy weight permits or corridors in Texas.
- Oppose any efforts that would increase the cost or slow the delivery of materials needed for public and critical infrastructure