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Texas Legislative Session

What’s Coming Up in Austin

The DRC sets and advocates for its 2017 Legislative Agenda to keep DFW’s business environment strong and support economic growth. Keeping our members engaged and updated on key developments during the 2017 legislative process plus the involvement in and commitment to our legislative priorities will drive our success in Austin.

DRC’s 2017 Legislative Agenda

Metro 8 Legislative Agenda

Pro-Growth Legislative Accountability Index

During the 85th Legislative Session, the Dallas Regional Chamber and Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce are tracking the voting records of every member of the North Texas delegation on legislation critical to our priorities on our Pro-Growth Legislative Accountability Index. The Index only includes bills that are tied to priority issues for both the Dallas and Fort Worth Chambers, and considered on the Senate or House floor.

Because it is our responsibility to keep our chamber members and community partners informed on the legislative issues that impact the North Texas business climate, we are monitoring votes and keeping our members abreast of developments related to pro-growth legislation. As the year progresses, we will update the Index here online and will produce a final printed version following the conclusion of Session.

Legislative Index Bills

Economic Development

One-Stop Shop for Relocations and Expansions
HB 3172 establishes a state website for businesses considering relocation or expansion in Texas; includes an interactive tool calculating eligibility for state incentive programs.
HB 3172 died in the Senate.

“Recruit Texas” – Rapid Response Workforce Development
HB 108 pairs relocating or expanding businesses with community colleges or technical institutes to train our workforce to meet the growing need for high-skilled talent.
HB 108 has been signed by the Governor.

Transportation

Unlocking Public-Private Partnerships for Infrastructure
HB 2861 allows new transportation projects across the state to enter into public-private partnerships, leveraging previously unavailable financing options. Texas needs the tools to fund transportation projects across the state to address growing population.
HB 2861 died in the House. Because this bill died, the I-635E and I-35W projects have significant funding challenges and are stalled.

Public Education

Recalibrating Public School Finance
HB 21directs an additional $1.6 billion toward public and charter schools to help them realize revenue gains reflecting Texas’ increasing property values. An effective public school finance system is vital to the state’s education pipeline to ensure students are graduating with the relevant skills and training to supply the workforce of today and the future.
HB 21 died in conference committee.

*The Dallas Regional Chamber and Fort Worth Chamber supported the House version of HB 21 only. The Senate version added school choice provisions without essential accountability measures resulting in a version that did not align with our legislative agenda.

Increasing the Focus on Pre-K through 3rd Grade
HB 2039 creates an optional early childhood certification for teachers specializing in Pre-K through 3rd grade, honing skills particular to this age group and ensuring quality early education for our region.
HB 2039 has been signed by the Governor.

Higher Education

Expanding P-TECH across TX
SB 22 establishes a $5 million grant program for school districts and charter schools to establish a Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program. These programs connect local employers with high schools and community colleges to offer a high school diploma with an associate degree, post-secondary certificate, or industry certificate in addition to work-based training – all in six years.
SB 22 has been signed by the Governor.

Facilitating College Credit Transfers
SB 2086 improves the transferability of college credit between public institutions of higher education by creating regional consortiums for transfer agreements. Coordinating transfer agreements helps students complete their degrees more efficiently and with less debt.
SB 2086 died in the House.

SB 802 creates a study to report best practices in the transfer of course credit between public institutions of higher education.
SB 802 has been signed by the Governor.

Health Care

Expanding Telemedicine and Telehealth Across Texas
SB 1107 creates the legal framework for virtual doctor-patient relationships significantly expanding the reach of telemedicine. Allowing tele-health and -medicine in Texas increases care options for consumers while decreasing time and cost of in-person, urgent care, and even emergency room visits.
SB 1107 has been signed by the Governor.

Water

Streamlining Water Rights
SB 226 streamlines the process for amending an application to a water right claim. This bill would have made it easier for water providers to keep pace with the growing need of water resources in the region.
SB 226 died in the House.

Important Contact Information

Stay up to date with key state offices; including the Texas House, Senate, Governor’s office, Lt. Governor’s Office, and Texas Legislature online.

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