The Fort Bend EDC Legislative Committee is a collaborative group of business leaders advising the FBEDC on public policy initiatives.

What We Do

The Fort Bend EDC Legislative Committee is a combination of representation from the Fort Bend EDC, the Fort Bend Chamber, the Central Fort Bend Chamber, the Fulshear-Katy Chamber, the Katy Area Chamber, and the Needville Chamber. The committee meets before the legislative session (every two years in Texas) to craft a legislative agenda that reflects a pro-business, pro-local control set of priorities the business community in Fort Bend can advance in the upcoming session.

pullquote
Our legislative priorities are the result of input from experts in the arena, bringing their knowledge and background to the committee to ensure we support public policy that helps promote and sustain quality growth.
Jeff Wiley, FBEDC President/CEO

Legislative Priorities

The committee meets through the spring and summer prior to the legislative session to develop a series of legislative priorities that are pro-growth. Once approved by the committee, the FBEDC and chambers' boards of directors will review and approve the agenda in September in preparation for the session beginning in January.

Agenda for the 2023 88th regular session coming soon!

Legislative Agendas
88th Regular Session

Coming September 2022

87th Regular Session

Redistricting Process

A.     Support redistricting efforts that increase Fort Bend representation and reflect majority Fort Bend voting populations within each Fort Bend Senatorial and House seat during the next decade.   

Local Control

A.     Support elimination of unfunded state mandates on local government and public education bodies and/or require permanent funding (direct funding and/or grants) for those mandates and any new mandates imposed on those entities. 

B.     Oppose additional property tax and revenue cap legislation and exclude and exempt economic development incentives from property/revenue tax calculations as related to existing property tax and revenue cap law.

C.      Allow local economic development corporations flexibility to use restricted use revenue sources (e.g. sale use tax, hotel occupancy tax) on a temporary basis to support city operations, and emergency initiatives during a Disaster Declaration as declared by the Governor of Texas.

D.     Refine HB2439, returning control to local municipalities to regulate building materials and requirements for residential and commercial enterprises.

E.      Support a fair and transparent process for appraisals.

General Business

A.     Support legislation that provides legal liability protections to entities providing services to persons that contract a virus identified in a pandemic national emergency declaration by a US President .      

B.     Support policy and funding for expanded broadband and 5G wireless deployment that induces and/or increases high speed data connectivity to the home in urban, suburban and rural communities.

Economic Development

A.     Support the reauthorization of Chapter 313 as is, set to sunset December 31, 2022. 

B.     Oppose any efforts to erode or restrict use of current economic development tools including but not limited to economic development sales tax corporations (Type 4A and 4B), tax abatement (Chapter 312), Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones, Chapter 380 and 381 agreements, the Freeport Tax Exemption, Hotel Occupancy Tax and Texas Enterprise Zone Program, to name a few. 

C.      Support expansion of 380 and 381 economic development agreements to allow land to be used, transferred, conveyed, or swapped.

D.     Support Sugar Land, Richmond and Katy’s rights to continue participation in the qualified hotel project program and receive a refund or rebate of various state and local taxes to finance the construction of a qualified hotel project. 

Healthcare

A.     Provide additional autonomy for mid-level health care providers, particularly in rural and underserved communities, to increase access to care and bring down healthcare costs.

B.     Continue the relaxed regulation environment for telehealth services and advance funding for underserved communities to increase telehealth education and access to the equipment necessary.

C.      Provide financial incentives for healthcare providers to encourage the incorporation of telehealth services in their practices and institutions to increase access to care and lower healthcare costs.

D.     Maintain funding levels for mental health services.

E.      Maintain and fully fund the Medicaid shortfall from 2019.

F.      Support the maintain funding for a safety net for trauma and rural hospitals.

Education & Workforce

A.     Fully fund the public-school finance system.

B.     Delay and/or provide waiver protection for up to two years to public school districts for mandated curriculum enhancement programs and teacher incentive packages to overcome operational issues and the fiscal burden caused by COVID-19.

C.      Provide sustainable state funding for the programs defined in HB3 in the 86th Legislative Session and provide local discretion to meet the needs of the students, particularly supplementation of the lost revenue from the 2.5 percent cap on valuations, full day Pre-K, and safety, security, and mental health programs.

D.     Continue to incentivize weighted funding for career and technology pathways.

E.      Fully fund the 100- percent performance based formula, incentivizing colleges to place students in quality jobs, as proven by Texas State Technical College.

F.      Develop a funding calculation to public school districts that includes remote and hybrid learning modalities within the district as a result of COVID-19 and its aftereffects.

G.     Institute a moratorium on state testing requirements on public schools for the 2020-2021 school year to enable districts to remediate the effects of learning loss caused by COVID-19.

H.     Provide Tuition Revenue Bonds to the University of Houston (UH) at Sugar Land for a second College of Technology Building, allowing for the entire College of Technology to relocate to UH Sugar Land Campus.

I.       Provide Tuition Revenue Bonds to Texas State Technical College in Fort Bend County to address additional training lab capacity; and, fully fund TSTC’s performance-based financial formula based on job placement and earnings. 

Infrastructure

A.     Oppose eliminating local tolling options.

B.     Raise or Index the gas tax in Texas to support transportation funding and/or provide enhanced funding or alternative funding for transportation projects.

C.      Support the development and implementation of a user fee for vehicles using alternative fuels.

D.     End diversions of the transportation revenues for non-transportation purposes.

E.      Support and protect the use of Eminent Domain for strategic infrastructure projects that enhance the quality of life for a community.

F.      Support enhanced funding for freight transportation infrastructure projects to address economic and population growth.

G.     Support local option fees for road improvements/additions as approved by local authorities.

H.     Support current weight requirements for vehicles operating on county roads, except for local proposals approved by local authorities.

I.       Maintain funding and expand eligibility programs to ensure efforts for state flood planning and resiliency.

86th Regular Session

Do No Harm

We believe the legislature should:

A. Show restraint and limit legislation wherever possible to the fiscal and administrative matters related to state governance;

B. Avoid mandates on local government and especially unfunded mandates;

Local Control

We believe the legislature should:

A. Favor local control, always;

B. Oppose additional property tax and revenue cap legislation;

C. Maintain all local options available to respond to mobility challenges;

D. Address local bills when requested that assist the community and advance local economic development and quality of life;

Public Education

We believe the legislature should:

A. Increase state funding of public education to levels greater or equal to 50% of public education costs.

B. Develop a state permanent funding source to fund the state share of public education

C. Fund public education student safety and security but allow flexibility of each district to determine the best use of enhanced security funding (e.g. metal detectors, mental health, counseling services, etc.)

Property Tax Relief

We believe that local school property tax rates should be reduced as state education funding is increased while keeping school districts whole in the process.

Higher Education

We support:

A. Increased pay for performance and program alignment with workforce needs

B. Seamless transitions and pathways of workforce development, including incentivizing and aligning dual credit courses

Flood Mitigation & Resiliency

We support the establishment of a statewide flood mitigation fund at Texas Water Development Board through the one time use of the economic stabilization fund. 

Texas Public Information Act (TPIA)

We support the Texas Supreme Court decisions in the matter of Greater Houston Partnership and Boeing and oppose legislation intended to expand the application of TPIA to private parties.

Economic Development Tools (Chapters 311, 312, 313, 380, 381)

The FBEDC supports retention of existing laws concerning Tax Increment Financing (311), Tax Abatement (312), School Value Limitation (313), and Economic Development Agreements (380/381) in their present form and seeks reauthorization where appropriate.

85th Regular Session

Economic Development

A. Protect Tax Abatement and TIRZ as a means of Commercial and Employment Growth

B. Protect the Texas Economic Development Sales Tax

C. Keep and Maintain funding for the Texas Enterprise Fund

D. Protect and Improve Section 313 Value Limitations for School Districts

E. Increase Skill Development Funding

F. Protect the Texas Enterprise Zone Program

G. Keep and Maintain Funding for the Texas Emerging Technology Fund

Transportation

A. End diversions of the gas tax and motor vehicle sales tax and dedicate to the State Highway Fund

B. Increase annual vehicle registration fees and dedicate to State Highway Fund

C. Create a new rail district to explore a short line between Rosenberg and Freeport or revise the statutory authority of the current gulf link rail district to restore power of eminent domain

D. Capitalize the Railroad Relocation and Improvement fund and allocate up to $3M for studying rail line option between Freeport and Rosenberg

Medicaid Expansion

A. Support the Texas Way Program under the ACA with a waiver as a consumer based private market alternative to traditional Medicaid for the uninsured population

Higher Education

A. Support the Transfer of TxDOT land at the corner of University and I-69/US 59 to the University of Houston

B. Support tuition revenue bonds for the School of Technology Building on UH Sugar Land Campus

C. Support Tuition Revenue Bonds for TSTC Campus in the Richmond/Rosenberg area

D. Increase the amount of medical residency slots in Texas

Law Suit Reform

A. Limit new County Court at Law claim to $250,000

B. Require existing County Court at Law courts with limits over $250,000 to require 12 jurors

 Tax Reform

A. Support Property Tax Reform that reduces School M&O property taxes through additional state funding of schools

B. Oppose increase in Homestead Exemption or any other proposal that shifts burden to businesses

C. Oppose revenue caps

D. Support the elimination or reduction of the Franchise Tax on Business

E. Oppose any attempt to change the property tax appraisal rules to remove “fair and equitable” as an allowable standard in commercial property appraisals

Water and Environmental Permits

A. Support reforms to contested case hearings process for environmental permits to prevent abuse of the process, ensure fairness and reduce timeframes to maintain our competitiveness

B. Address Texas Groundwater Law to make available increased aquifer storage and recovery options for Texas water needs

The Fort Bend EDC holds a legislative conference in November before each legislative session where the FBEDC presents the approved agenda of priorities to the Fort Bend legislative delegation

2022 Legislative Conference, Driskill Hotel, Downtown Austin

Committee

Committee members reflect a variety of backgrounds and areas of expertise to ensure our priorities reflect a quality growth agenda.

Jeff Wiley, President

FBEDC

Rachelle Kanak, EVP Marketing/Operation

FBEDC

Matt Breazeale, Jones|Carter

Central Fort Bend Chamber

Howard Cohen, Schwartz Page

FBEDC

Trisha Frederick, Costello Engineering

Fort Bend Chamber

Suzanne Haboush, GFL

Central Fort Bend Chamber

Greg Henry, Xpernet

Katy Area Chamber

Tommy Kuykendall, Jr., CivilCorp

Fulshear-Katy Chamber

Margaret Laney,

Katy Area Chamber

Marvin Marcel

FBEDC

Jim Rice, Rice & Gardner

Fort Bend Chamber/FBEDC

Kevin Riles, Kevin Riles Commercial

Fort Bend Chamber

Jim Russ, EHRA

Central Fort Bend Chamber/FBEDC

Bradley Stavinoha, Needville Insurance

Needville Chamber of Commerce

Legislative Committee

Partners & Stakeholders

We are thankful for our business leaders that support the Fort Bend EDC Legislative Conference. Their sponsorship dollars go directly to fund this conference, without which we could not hold the event. We appreciate our sponsors leadership and commitment to Fort Bend County.

The FBEDC Legislative Conference will be held November 17-18, 2022 thanks to the following sponsors.

Contact Us