The Plano Chamber of Commerce serves as a steward to its Member Investors through its Public Policy Committee and Chamber Advocacy efforts. Supporting good government enhances the economic well-being of the community and its citizens. CLICK HERE to sign up to receive the weekly TAKE 10: Legislative Landscape newsletter, featuring notable legislation, hearings, and bills throughout the 85th Texas Legislative Session or view past newsletters HERE.
Periodically, the Plano Chamber will issue resolutions regarding issues affecting our Members and Plano residents. Below are some of the issues that we are tracking.
2017 Legislative Scorecard
The Plano Chamber of Commerce is pleased to share with you our 2017 Legislative Scorecard. As part of our increased focus on advocacy, this legislative scorecard is meant to provide an overview of the select issues that we tracked this past session and the votes cast by the Plano delegation. The 85th Legislative Session contained many challenges as well as opportunities for the business community. We are proud of the progress made with the passage of legislation that will allow Collin College to offer four-year degrees in Nursing. We supported the passage of the Budget, which included funding for several of our legislative priorities, including the TEXAS Grant program and the Texas Enterprise Fund, both of which are vital components to continued economic development in our region. While substantive changes to the property tax system failed to make progress, we look forward to continuing to engage in the conversation around school finance reform as the newly-created commission studies the issue in the interim. Finally, we joined forces with numerous businesses and organizations in Plano and throughout Texas to actively advocate against discriminatory policies that would harm Texas’ reputation as a business-friendly state.
The City of Plano has outlined six propositions in the bond package that are important for the City of Plano and its citizens, specifically in the areas of public safety facilities, street improvements, parks and recreation facilities, library facilities, and the preservation of the Collinwood House and historic structures. The Plano Chamber supports the objectives of this bond package and encourages its members to vote in favor on the May 6, 2017 municipal election ballot. PASSED
Collin College is committed to providing an exceptional education for its student. The passage of all propositions in the bond package is important for the further growth of Collin College, specifically in the construction of five facilities and a technical center that will partner with area K-12 districts to prepare students for high-wage, high-demand industries. The Plano Chamber supports the objectives of this bond package and encourages its members to vote in favor of the bond election. PASSED
The Plano Chamber of Commerce joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Texas Association of Business, more than 40 other chambers of commerce throughout the state of Texas, plus other business organizations and sector-specific business groups in filing a lawsuit against the new Department of Labor overtime rule, which would have gone into effect December 1, 2016. STRUCK DOWN BY FEDERAL JUDGE ON SEPTEMBER 1, 2017.
Collin County is projected to have a population of 1.2 million by the year 2030 and transportation infrastructure plays a vital role in addressing population growth. The Plano Chamber of Commerce supports the expedited development and revenue service of the Cotton Belt Corridor and strongly encourages DART to take all necessary actions to achieve this goal.
The Plano business community depends on excellent schools and a well-prepared workforce. The proposed bond package will not raise tax rates for residents located within the Plano Independent School District. The Plano Chamber supports the objectives of this bond package and encourages its members to support the bond election. PASSED
H.R. 4466 would exempt the Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir Project from the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, thus allowing the permitting and construction on the reservoir to move forward while ensuring that water pumped from the reservoir will still comply with all state water quality regulations and all state and federal drinking regulations. The Plano Chamber of Commerce supports H.R. 4466 and encourages passage by the House and Senate.
The Plano Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan seeks to ensure the City remains attractive and vibrant moving into the future while accommodating regional population growth and preserving the suburban character of the community. The Plano Chamber supports the principles outlined in the Plano Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan and encourages passage of the plan by the Plano City Council. PASSED
The Export-Import Bank supports U.S. exports by providing loan guarantees, insurance and financing for American goods and services sold abroad. Since 2012, the Bank has funded over $1 billion in exports for 111 companies in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex; 84 of those were small businesses.
Attracting and maintaining a diverse workforce is important for job growth, business recruitment, and employee retention. The Plano Chamber supports a business environment that is inclusive and welcoming to people of all backgrounds and beliefs.
The 84th Texas Legislature is proposing a constitutional amendment on the state ballot affecting the state’s roads, highways, and bridges. Proposition 7, drafted by legislators, would result in an estimated $3 billion per year for the state highway fund without adding any new or increased taxes, fees, or debt. The Plano Chamber supports Proposition 7 on the November 3, 2015 ballot and urges everyone to vote in favor.
Resolution Opposing EPA Greenhouse Gas Regulations That Could Threaten Electricity Supplies and Increase Power Costs
Low cost and dependable electricity is essential to economic growth, business success, and the livelihood of Texans. The Plano Chamber opposes federal EPA greenhouse gas regulations that threaten continued power generation from existing coal-fired plants in Texas or restrict development of new coal-fired power plants.
The 83rd Texas Legislature passed historic legislation proposing a constitutional amendment (Proposition 1) to be placed on the November 4, 2014 ballot. Proposition 1 increases funding for state roads, highways, and bridges and could result in an estimated $1.4 billion per year for the state highway fund. The Plano Chamber encourages our members and their employees to actively support the proposition.