Legislative Affairs Agenda
The Garland Chamber’s Legislative Affairs committee spent months researching and developing a legislative agenda that covers critical issues with the potential to impact the Garland community. Items indicated in this agenda are representative of the issues for which the Chamber may act as an advocate on behalf of its stakeholders.
If there is a particular issue or piece of legislation for which you or your business would like to request the advocacy of the Garland Chamber, please use the form below to notify our staff. Requests will be reviewed and considered for approval by the Legislative Affairs committee and the Chamber board of directors based on alignment with the Chamber’s vision and mission.
The Garland Chamber of Commerce will maintain a keen focus on the current state and future direction of the local economy. The number one issue in developing the economy in Garland is providing a workforce that is ready to meet the needs of employers (see workforce item). Additionally, we are in support of extending the State of Texas Enterprise Zone program. This vehicle provides a valuable tool in recruiting companies from other states. There are more opportunities than the current limits allow and for that reason, we would favor expansion of the limits. While Texas has enjoyed a great amount of growth from other parts of the country, we find competition from other states has intensified. We would encourage the State Economic Development Department to look at more aggressive ways to mitigate this situation. One way in particular would be to streamline the application process for State incentives. We run into States that have a one-page process.
The Garland Chamber of Commerce will be proactive in supporting initiatives that improve water resources and promote items such as water conservation measures, additional energy sources, and projects that aim to utilize the abundance of natural gas that exists in Texas. The legislature is urged to consider methods that will not have a negative impact on businesses and municipalities. The Garland Chamber of Commerce opposes any legislation that would negatively affect either water or energy sustainability in Texas.
The Garland Chamber of Commerce will support and promote initiatives to improve quality of health care coverage and services, and expand meaningful coverage and availability to the uninsured while controlling costs. Includes: reducing Medicaid fraud, waste and abuse protecting tax dollars, increasing the use of Medicaid managed care, achieving greater flexibility, improving Medicaid/CHIP quality and efficiency and improving the Texas Health Care Delivery System.
Pre K - 12 Public & Higher Education
Education systems must continue to improve, provide rigorous educational programs, and require standards that allow students to meet the increasing demands of the changing workforce. By ensuring educational productivity, students will graduate with the requisite education and skills to enter the workforce or pursue additional educational options. The Garland Chamber of Commerce supports a strong K-12 education accountability and assessment system with adequate state funding, initiatives that improve teacher availability, a quality learning atmosphere, and the opportunity for students to participate in effective early childhood programs.
Area universities and community colleges are critical to the future economic vitality of the region. Regional equity, tuition flexibility, and adequate funding, including financial aid for post-secondary educational institutions, are essential to the quality of education in the region. Increased support for the region's tier one universities and long-term policies addressing incentive and research funding are a priority.
Transportation & Infrastructure
The Garland Chamber of Commerce will be proactive in supporting all initiatives that improve mobility and air quality within the region by advocating for regional increases of funds dedicated to the construction of roadways and rail corridors in North Texas. The legislature is urged to end diversions from the gasoline tax revenue and consider all options. These efforts will ensure the maintenance and continued development of our state's transportation infrastructure. The Chamber also supports legislation that would authorize TXDOT to enter into a Comprehensive Development Agreement (CDA) for the IH-635 East Corridor Project.
The Garland Chamber of Commerce will sustain Texas' competitive business environment through enhanced training, retention and career-based programs by supporting legislative efforts that supported and further the 6-year plan implemented by the Texas Workforce Investment Council; and opposing efforts that attempt to diminish or cut programs provided or recommended by the plan.
"Let me help you discover innovative business services."
I direct the development and operational areas of the Chamber to carry out the organization's mission to be a catalyst for positive change in our community. Call me if I can help you cultivate relationships or discover services and programs to help achieve your business's mission.
President (469) 326-7474 Karina.Olivares@garlandchamber.com
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