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Round Rock Chamber Outlines 2021 State Legislative Priorities

2021 State Legislative Agenda

The 87th Texas Legislature will face unprecedented impacts from a pandemic, a pandemic-induced recession, and historically low sales tax collections from the oil and gas industries. Our community is strong and we hope will recover faster than many others. To remain vigilant in our public policy efforts to support a strong pro-business climate, we ask members of the 87thTexas Legislature to join us by embracing the following key public policy priorities which are critical to our city’s continued success.

Economic Development

We urge legislators to support legislation that maintains and strengthens the state’s competitive edge in business attraction, development, and retention. This includes:

  • Preserve economic development tools, including the Texas Tax Code (Chapters 312 and 313), the Texas Local Government Code (Chapters 380 and 381), that promote economic development and job creation and support local authority and flexibility in the use of those tools.
  • Protect and support programs that help communities attract and upskill their workforce (i.e., Skills Development Fund, Skills for Small Business).
  • Support nondiscrimination legislation that will make the state more competitive for talent, tourism, and investment.

Local Control

Local government is best positioned to address local problems, set policy, and plan for local needs. We strongly support local control and urge legislators to:

  • Oppose legislation that impedes a city’s ability to provide increased services (including but not limited to public education, public safety workers, and facilities and infrastructure) especially in growing communities like ours.

Education

A strong public education system is at the core of every successful community. As Round Rock continues to grow and prosper, it is essential that our local school district, community and technical colleges, and universities have the resources they need to provide a world-class education.  We urge legislators to:

  • Oppose legislation and/or budget proposals that decrease spending for these institutions.
  • Protect the investments that were made in K-12 public education during the 86th Texas Legislature (HB3).
  • Support community colleges as a critical component of Central Texas’ economic recovery in the upskilling and reskilling of Round Rock area workers who have been displaced by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Approve debt service payments on a tuition revenue bond that will be used to construct a Health Professions building at Texas State University – Round Rock Campus.
  • Support legislation that ensures the state’s accountability system, allows school districts to receive credit for students earning an associate’s degree, completing international baccalaureate courses, completing internships, and other post-secondary measures.

Transportation

The need for improving and expanding Texas roads has surpassed available resources. This is exacerbated by Texas’ continued strong growth, with an additional 1,000 citizens every single day. Round Rock is projected to double in population, from the current 129,000 to 250,000, in the next ten to fifteen years. We urge legislators to:

  • Fully fund the voter-authorized Proposition 1 (2014 election) and Proposition 7 (2015 election) which authorized a portion of certain taxes for the construction, maintenance, or acquisition of public rights-of-way other than toll roads.
  • Authorize public-private partnerships (PPPs) for the development, financing, and execution of road projects.

 Healthcare

Overall health and wellness is crucial for our community, workforce, and, ultimately, our economy. The pandemic strained the state’s healthcare system. The ripple effect of the pandemic is expected to continue as those individuals that have lost their jobs and/or employer-based health insurance seek access to healthcare. We urge legislators to:

  • Oppose cuts or delays to Medicaid, Medicare, and other supplemental hospital payments.
  • Support legislation and budget proposals that improve access to health coverage.