Position Statements for the 2021 Texas Legislative Session

Our Mission: Advancing Business, Strengthening Community

Our Key Strategies:

  • Grow our Members’ Businesses
  • Foster Economic Prosperity
  • Amplify the Voice of Business
  • Develop the Community’s Future

The 1,200 representatives of community leaders, member businesses, and organizations that are the Hurst Euless Bedford Chamber of Commerce have joined together to speak to our local legislative representatives with one voice. Our vision is for legislation that will result in the greatest economic and community prosperity in Hurst Euless Bedford, Tarrant County, the North Texas Region, and the State of Texas. Our agenda seeks the continuation of the economic success our state and region currently enjoy by creating sound policies that ensure we have the necessary tools, talent, infrastructure, and healthcare systems for economic and community prosperity.

Critical Priorities for the 87th Texas Legislature

• Keep all current economic development tools including reauthorization of Chapter 313 and funding the Governor’s, Enterprise Fund.
• Fund and protect HB3 making only minor tweaks necessary to correct unintended consequences in the original drafting of the legislation.
• Maintain the funding from Propositions 1 and 7 and explore creative financing methods including expanded public-private partnerships to leverage state investment in critical transportation infrastructure.
• Maximize federal funds to expand healthcare coverage and access through both the public and private market, including the use of Medicaid 1115 waivers and Local Provider Participation Funds.

Detailed Legislative Agenda for the 87th Texas Legislature

Economic Development

  1. Support the reauthorization of Chapter 313 of the Tax Code for 10 years with minor improvements that allow independent school districts to participate in economic development incentives.
  2. Support funding of the Governor’s Enterprise Fund and other economic development tools now available.
  3. Support economic development incentives that produce high paying jobs in high-poverty zip codes in Texas.
  4. Support continued use of eminent domain to facilitate construction of highways, rail, pipelines, electric transmission lines, etc.

Workforce and Talent Development

  1. Support appropriating funds for retraining of displaced workers using a combination of community colleges, workforce boards, and private employers.
  2. Support legislation that ensures there is no discrimination in Texas on the basis of race, religion, national origin, or gender identity.
  3. Support returning military professional access to comparable state licenses with minimal retraining and cost.
  4. Support funding quality, affordable daycare to increase workforce participation.

Public Education

  1. Support continued funding of HB3 with minor tweaks necessary to remedy unintended consequences of the original legislation.
  2. Support expansion of broadband to ensure all students in Texas have equal access to education.
  3. Support allocation of emergency funds to public education to make the adjustments required by the global pandemic.
  4. Support elimination of unfunded mandates placed on public education.

Higher Education

  1. Support appropriating funds for the formulas from the 86th Legislature before other funding priorities. 
  2. Support funding the Governor’s University Research Initiative (GURI) and the Core Research Fund (CRF).  
  3. Support rigorous dual credit courses, early college high schools, and advanced placement testing to reduce the number of credit hours that must be completed after high school to make college more affordable. 

Healthcare

  1. Support maximizing federal matching funds to extend healthcare coverage and access to working poor, self-employed, and uninsured Texans through both the public and private market.
  2. Support funding additional physician residency slots and the Professional Nursing Shortage Reduction Fund. 
  3. Support additional funding for inpatient, outpatient, and community-based behavioral health services and for Mental Health Professionals in the public education setting.
  4. Support making permanent the relaxing of the scope of practice and telehealth restrictions made during the Covid-19 pandemic consistent with safe, effective patient care.

Infrastructure

  1. Support continued use of all dedicated Proposition 1 and 7 funds for transportation infrastructure. 
  2. Support innovative financing plans including expanded use of Public-Private Partnerships to leverage state funds for transportation infrastructure. 
  3. Support creation of a state plan for the expansion of broadband to every county in Texas providing affordable basic access for distance learning and telemedicine. 
  4. Support tolled managed lanes being added to existing public highways where the number of free lanes remains the same after completion. 
  5. Support measures to protect the Texas electrical grid.                                                                

Rochelle Ross receives Distinguished Alumnus Award from Leadership HEB

The Distinguished Alumnus Award is given to a Chamber member who is involved, graduated Leadership HEB, and distinguished themselves in a Leadership role within the HEB Chamber and community. This person must enthusiastically support leadership HEB.  

This year’s recipient, Rochelle Ross from A Simplified Space, is extremely enthusiastic! You might even call her joyfully enthusiastic. She has been called the Chamber’s honorary cheerleader. In a former life, she was a cheerleader.  She has many accomplishments.

Rochelle served a three-year term on the HEB Chamber Board of Directors, she has chaired the Chamber’s Golf Tournament. She has been an active member of the Leadership HEB Steering Committee and served as chairman for the past 3 years.

Rochelle is a member of the Board of Trustees for the HEB School district. She also serves on the board of HEB ISD Education Foundation. Because of her energy and enthusiasm for “all things Chamber,” she was the 2015 recipient of our Gertrude Tarpley Memorial Spirit Award. We appreciate her strong commitment to the HEB Chamber of Commerce and our HEB community. 

Rochelle received the 2020 Distinguished Alumnus award at the August Luncheon of the HEB Chamber of Commerce on August 13, 2020 at the Hurst Conference Center.

How to apply for Small Business Loans from the SBA due to COVID-19

The HEB Chamber previously sent out detailed information about the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) and the different options to get financial help to keep your employees and cover some of your business expenses during this challenging time. Senator John Cornyn tells us that we should get more information and dates when programs are available towards the end of this week.   

The SBA held a virtual meeting to go over the different programs in the CARES Act that can provide financial assistance for businesses on Thursday, April 2, at 11:00 a.m. for several area chambers of commerce.    The recording has been uploaded to YouTube and the PowerPoint slides used in the presentation are included in the link below.