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Public policy and legislative updates

Public policy and legislative updates

Legislative decisions being made today in Austin and Washington, D.C., that will affect your business tomorrow. One of the major responsibilities of the chamber is representing members to work within the policy process for pro-business results.

There’s a long list of public policy activities this spring:

The all-virtual Washington, D.C., Federal Legislative Policy Briefing is scheduled for April. The schedule is still in work, but attendees will speak to legislators and attend briefings on important policies and movements in the legislature. Sponsorships are available. Participation is free for chamber members.
 
Austin Fly-in
About 100 members heard from local state representatives during the annual Austin Fly-In in February. 
Key areas of focus included:
  • Education and the economy
  • Healthcare and transportation
  • Trade and rural initiatives
Speakers included:
  • State Sen. Angela Paxton, vice-chair of the Senate Property Tax Committee; sits on the Senate committees for Business & Commerce, Education, and Natural Resources & Economic Development.  (watch video)
  • Mike Morath, Commissioner of Education for the State of Texas  (watch video)
  • Rep. Jim Murphy, chair of the Higher Education Committee  (watch video)
  • State Rep. Jeff Leach, chair of the Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence; sits on Juvenile Justice & Family Issues Committee
  • Glenn Hegar, Texas State Comptroller.
  • State Rep. Angie Chen Button, chair of the International Relations & Economic Development; sits on Ways & Means Committee  (watch video)
  • There also was a live connection to Texas Tribune's "A Conversation with Rep. Harold Dutton, Chair of the House Public Education Committee."
Legislative updates
It’s fast and furious time in Austin: more than 10,000 bills have been filed. While there’s been a lot of press focus on “What are we going to do about ERCOT?”, committees are holding meetings and hearings on other items on our Legislative Agenda.

Key topics this session (and expected special sessions) include expanding broadband access, Medicaid, COVID-19 liability protections, state budget and re-districting.

Sign up here.

Local elections
Elections this year are set for Richardson City Council, Richardson and Plano school districts and city and school bond issues. Candidate Q&As on Community Impact

City Council Candidate Forum -- April 14
The Chamber will host a Richardson City Council Candidate Forum on April 14. Kyle Kepner and Joe Corcoran are running for Place 1. Daniel Burdette, Marilyn Frederick and Arefin Shamsul are running for Place 4. The forum will give candidates the opportunity to tell voters about themselves, their experience, and their policy ideas for Richardson.

City bond election
Eight projects intended to enhance areas of Richardson targeted for redevelopment could be included in the city's upcoming municipal bond package (click for Community Impact article). Staff will refine the plans before returning in April for further guidance from council. A final bond proposition is expected to be confirmed in June. The election is tentatively scheduled for November.
Aging street network (Community Impact)

Public Policy Committee
This committee develops legislative agendas for each session, communicates news and organizes speaker luncheons and special events. Monthly meetings are held the second Monday of each month and cover local, state and federal legislative topics such as economic development, public and higher education, and workforce development.

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