The Texas Legislature has begun their work on the 2014-15 budget and the HEB Chamber needs you to be engaged in this important session. In 2011, the Legislature made numerous cuts and delayed funding programs like Medicaid to balance the budget. These cuts and delays will have an immediate impact on how our legislators will develop the next budget. Even with a projected surplus for 2014-15, they will have some difficult decisions to make in the coming months.
The Governmental Affairs Committee researched areas that are vital to the HEB community and made recommendations to our Board for their approval. Our goal was to make sure essential programs and activities are funded so that our state can attract and retain companies to keep our economy growing. Our Chamber feels this can be best done by investing in economic development, providing our businesses and citizens with a quality infrastructure and sustainable resources, properly educating our workforce and provide the necessary funding for healthcare programs. These position statements were approved and have been shared with the HEB legislative delegation.
Some of our positions include restoring public school funding to the Fiscal Year 2010 levels, maintaining the current franchise tax threshold while reviewing it to eliminate inequities and to provide adequate funding for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). We also support investing in our transportation infrastructure and optimize existing funding sources without diverting funds or raising fees as well as developing a permanent source of funding for new water supply development to support the continued population growth and economic development in the State.
To see the summary of the HEB Chamber’s positions, click here.
To see the complete list of positions we support, click here.
This session, the Chamber is taking two trips to Austin – one with the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, January 29-31, and another with the Coalition of Tarrant County Chambers of Commerce, February 6 and 7. Hopefully some of you will be able to join us.
As bills make their way through the House and Senate, we will be reaching out to you to assist us in making our positions known to the legislators, particularly those that represent all or part of HEB: Senator Wendy Davis, Senator Kelly Hancock and State Representative Jonathan Stickland.
For information on how to reach them and other key legislators, click here.
Decisions will be made in Austin this year that impact the HEB area and the Chamber asks that its members stay informed and to communicate with our legislators. Your involvement is vital in assisting the HEB Chamber support our positions at the state level. With your help, we can keep our economy growing and continue to make our area a viable place to live and work!