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88th Legislative Session

A thriving business environment that fosters economic development is critical to making Houston greater. In order to advance the Houston region, the Greater Houston Partnership supports policies that create a business environment attractive to leading global companies and skilled talent.

During the 88th Texas Legislative Session, the Partnership will focus on an impact agenda that addresses the most pressing issues facing the business community and the Houston region. We invite you to join us in continuing to advance these solutions and other measures to strengthen the region’s long-term growth and provide opportunity for all. Together, we make Houston greater.

Executive Priorities

Four key priorities will lead the Partnership's legislative agenda in 2023.

Economic Development Incentives 

Competitive economic development tools are critical to bringing new businesses to the region and growing our economy. The Partnership supports the creation of a new school property tax abatement program that makes our state attractive to emerging industries and ensures our long-term competitiveness.

Energy Transition 

Texas is poised to lead the energy transition and safeguard our place as the global energy leader. The Partnership supports removing regulatory roadblocks and creating certainty for those investing in the future of Texas energy.

Higher Education Funding 

The University of Houston is the region’s flagship public institution and continues to make meaningful strides in terms of student success and research funding. The Partnership supports increasing the state’s investment in the University of Houston.

Flood Mitigation 

The Legislature made a strong commitment in 2019 to strengthen local communities and make the state more resilient by creating the Flood Infrastructure Fund. The Partnership supports significant re-investment in the Flood Infrastructure Fund.

Issues

The Partnership will work on several key issues that impact business in this region.

Workforce Development 

Community colleges are essential to educating, certifying and training the workers needed to keep our economy strong. The Partnership supports student-focused and industry-led recommendations.
Public schools are facing a teacher workforce shortage. The Partnership supports targeted efforts to address this shortage and attract high-quality teachers to the classroom.
COVID placed tremendous strain on frontline healthcare workers resulting in workforce shortages in critical areas. The Partnership supports state programs and investment to attract the best and brightest to the profession.
The Partnership supports an all-of-the above approach to training and upskilling the region’s workforce to ensure leading technology and innovation companies have access to a robust talent pipeline.

Public Education 

A strong public education system is critical to the long-term prosperity of our region and state. The Partnership supports continued investment in public education, preservation of high-impact programs, and effective accountability measures.

Local Issues

The judicial system in Harris County is broken and not serving the needs of the region. The Partnership supports policies that would help to alleviate the felony court case backlog.

Broadband 

Equitable access to broadband will provide economic opportunities to all Texans. The Partnership supports continued state investment to address the digital divide and serve local communities.

See the Partnership's Full Legislative Agenda

87th Legislative Session Summary

Learn how key elements of the Partnership's legislative agenda fared during the 87th Texas Legislative Session. 

Convening to Make an Impact

The Partnership's impact work happens through Committees, which convene business and community leaders to fuel the growth and vitality of the Houston region. 

Public Policy Updates

Related News

Living In Houston

Fighting for a More Flood Resilient Houston Region

8/22/22
Houston is a region of great opportunity, but combatting major challenges remains key to the metro area’s continued growth and prosperity.  On August 25, 2017 – five years ago this month – Hurricane Harvey made landfall just south of Houston. As the destructive storm slowly trekked north, it brought with it devastating rainfall and revealed our region’s vulnerability to flooding.  Fortunately, the exposure to flooding did not go unnoticed as all levels of government, federal, state, and local came together to provide relief and offer preventative solutions that would help alleviate future flood events. And the Partnership supported these multilevel efforts, working hand-in-hand to offer guidance and prospective solutions.  This post does not do justice to the many prospective, ongoing, and completed mitigation projects that have and will fortify our region from excessive flooding for decades. But we hope to shine some light on the progress made.  At the Federal level, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has received a large appropriation from Congress for the new Community Development Block Grant Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) grant opportunity, which would lead to billions of dollars for the Houston region for flood mitigation projects. This particular funding was developed specifically for use around preventative measures to combat future severe weather events and not in response to any previous natural disasters. While these projects have yet to be undertaken, they will certainly provide necessary relief, particularly working in conjunction with state and local funds.  The State of Texas worked to realize the Flood Infrastructure Fund (FIF), which is a nearly $800 million fund that the state legislature appropriated following its creation via constitutional referendum. The fund has supported efforts to mitigate flooding and will work in concert with the state flood map as well as federal funding to protect property and life from devastating natural disasters. For example, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) approved $10 million to widen and deepen Taylor Gully, which is a project that both the City of Houston as well as Harris County collaborated on to increase water conveyance and take more than 400 homes out of the flood zone. Locally, Harris County worked – with the Partnership as a supporter – to secure the 2018 Harris County Flood Control District’s $2.5 billion bond program, which has initiated the construction of necessary mitigation measures against severe weather events. The funding includes $1.2 billion to improve channel conveyance, $400 million to build stormwater detention basins, $242 million to acquire land in the floodplain, among other priorities. In fact, not only have these funds been used as a match for federal Army Corps mitigation projects, but they have also been used successfully to stabilize the Spring Branch Creek in the Buffalo Bayou watershed.  In a show of force at every level of government, one mega project, the Coastal Barrier – or Ike Dike – is on the verge of being authorized by Congress. The Partnership is advocating alongside federal, state, and local elected officials for this massive preventative infrastructure project, which will help mitigate crippling flooding from catastrophic storm surges and save tens of billions of dollars in disaster recovery funding by protecting vulnerable communities. The barrier will also safeguard the Houston Ship Channel, which is an economic engine helping to, quite literally, power the nation through nearly 250 million tons of cargo – more than $800 billion in annual economic activity – over three million jobs and supplying approximately 60 percent of the nation’s jet fuel as well as 30 percent of the nation’s gasoline.  While Southeast Texas – like many coastal communities – does flood, especially following a 100-year storm or severe weather event, the Houston region has collectively worked to expand investment in flood mitigation to prevent these lasting and reoccurring effects from major storm events. Together can we achieve the necessary measures to protect human life and economic vitality from the increasingly present and disabling effects of climate change induced flooding.    Flood mitigation is part of the Partnership's agenda for the 88th Texas Legislative session. 
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Digital Technology

CHIPS and Science Act To Boost U.S. Leadership in Science and Innovation

8/10/22
Houston is a leader in the new frontier of technology manufacturing. Our region has experienced significant growth in high-tech manufacturing as new entrepreneurs have partnered with local universities and existing industries to accelerate the development and deployment of life saving medical technologies, pioneering energy systems and other advancements benefiting all Americans. On Tuesday, August 9, President Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act into law, a piece of legislation ensuring that the United States remains globally competitive in incubating the next generation of tech startups, ideas, and innovators.  This bipartisan legislation will accelerate American-based semiconductor manufacturing and drive investments in technology innovation, research, and development, with the aim of reducing the United States’ reliance on foreign parties. The Act provides a tax credit for American-based semiconductor chip manufacturing projects and provides significant appropriations for the National Science Foundation, regional technology and innovation hubs, and advanced research programs such as STEM grants. In addition to semiconductor manufacturing incentives, the legislation also authorizes $10 billion over five years to create at least 20 regional technology and innovation hubs across the country. The legislation’s hubs program allows eligible consortia to participate in a competition run by the Department of Commerce to designate these regional technology and innovation hubs, and at least 60 strategy development grants will be awarded to help build regional innovation strategies. This legislation signals a federal investment in regional, technology-forward economic development, and the Houston region stands ready to maximize this opportunity.   The passage of the CHIPS and Science Act offers significant economic opportunities for our state and our region. Texas currently has the infrastructure to support new semiconductor projects, and our region’s experience as a center for world-changing innovations has readied Houston to drive our nation’s capabilities for decades to come.  More on the CHIPS and Science Act available here. Learn more about advanced manufacturing in Houston here. 
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Become a Member Today

Interested in joining the Partnership? Take the next step and learn how you can make an impact on Houston.

Get in touch with our team to:

  • Learn more about the Partnership's policy priorities
  • Get involved in a policy committee and meet industry peers 
  • Help shape the Partnership's policy initiatives
Taylor Landin
Senior Vice President and Chief Policy Officer
Public Policy
E
tlandin@houston.org
P
713-844-3624
Looking for the rest of our team?
Partnership Staff