January 10, 2019

Round Rock Chamber Takes Legislative Positions

Public policy positions reflect current and future business needs

ROUND ROCK, Texas – The Round Rock Chamber today announced that it has taken legislative positions in four key areas that will ensure that Round Rock, and the entire state of Texas, maintain their economic development leadership status. The positions align with the chamber’s principles as defined in its Agenda for Economic Vitality. The chamber has committed to advocate on behalf of its investors as these issues make their way through the legislative process.

“We believe that we must remain diligent in our efforts to preserve a positive business climate for Round Rock,” said Amy Mizcles, the chamber’s vice president of community enhancement. “We are looking forward to the session and working with our legislative delegation on our priorities.”

The four priority areas that are critical to Round Rock’s continued success are:

Economic Development 
The chamber urges legislators to support legislation that maintains and strengthens the state’s competitive edge in business attraction, retention, and expansion. This includes:

  • Maintaining the Texas Enterprise Fund, the Texas Enterprise Zone Fund, and the tax incentives that are available under the Texas Economic Development Act and, specifically, maintaining at least a $200 million balance in the Texas Enterprise Fund.
  • Protecting and supporting programs that help communities attract and upskill its workforce (i.e. Skills Development Fund, Skills for Small Business).
  • Supporting legislation that maintains and ensures non-discriminatory employment practices and that supports diversity and inclusion in the workforce.

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 its local school district has the resources it needs to provide a world-class education. The chamber urges legislators to:

  • Support legislation that requires the state to share the costs of funding public schools by providing at least 50 percent of Foundation School Program formula to reduce over-reliance on local property taxes.
  • Support legislation that increases the basic allotment and provides school districts flexibility in the use of those funds.
  • Oppose legislation that requires unfunded mandates.
  • Support legislation that ensures all technology application courses receive career and technical education weighted funding.
  • Support legislation that amends the state’s accountability system to allow school districts to receive credit for students earning an associate’s degree, completing international baccalaureate courses, completing internships, and other post-secondary measures.

Local Control 
The chamber opposes legislation that impedes a city’s ability to provide increased services (public safety workers), especially in growing communities like Round Rock, as a result of state-imposed barriers. This includes:

  • Opposing legislation that lowers the current eight-percent revenue cap (rollback rate) while also requiring costly special elections.
  • Opposing legislation that limits the local government’s power to set policy that meets local needs.

Round Rock is projected to reach its maximum population of approximately 250,000 in the next fifteen to twenty years. The chamber asks legislators to:

  • Support legislation that requires the appropriate state agency to update the 2009 2030 Committee Texas Transportation Needs Report which provides a comprehensive analysis of the estimated transportation needs in Texas.
  • Support legislation that allows local and regional transportation entities to access private capital by preserving the ability to issue revenue bonds that are securitized by user fees.
  • Support legislation that requires the state to fully fund and extend 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. Proposition 7 funds may also be used to repay the principal of and interest on related general obligation bonds.

About the Round Rock Chamber
The Round Rock Chamber is the economic generator for its thriving community. Honored with the 2018 Chamber of the Year Award by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives for its work in the Eight Pillars of Economic Generation and for its operational excellence, the chamber is the catalyst for building prosperity in Round Rock. The chamber initiates programs that create a dynamic business climate and improved quality of life through innovative community partnerships and invested business leaders. For more information, visit, www.roundrockchamber.org.

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