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86th Legislative Session

Bolstering 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 works to pursue policies that create a business environment attractive to leading global companies and skilled talent. 

In the 2019 State Legislative Session, the Partnership focused on two executive priorities: school finance reform and flood resilience. The Legislature passed and Governor Abbott signed legislation into law to invest significant state resources in these priorities as well as other issues important to the business community and the Houston region.

The Partnership's Priorities for the 86th Legislative Session

  • The Partnership is actively working with legislators concerning interim studies that will further the work of the 86th Legislative Session and align the region for success during the 2021 session. 

  • Stay up-to-date with our Policy Team on Twitter @GHP_Policy

Actively Involved

The 86th Texas Legislative Session was a success for the business community, with transformational investments in public education and flood resilience

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Membership

Houston City Council Members Discuss Economic Development, Resiliency

2/21/20
Providing a great quality of life and building a strong diverse economy was top of mind for four Houston City Council Members at the Greater Houston Partnership on Friday. They addressed a sold-out room at a Future of Texas event and included:  Mayor Pro-Tem Dave Martin, District E Council Member Abbie Kamin, District C Council Member Robert Gallegos, District I Council Member David Robinson, At-Large Position 2 Here are highlights from the discussion: Great Quality of Life: Building a more resilient Houston after Hurricane Harvey Council Members discussed the city’s response to Hurricane Harvey and how to build a more resilient Houston. Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin discussed the city’s work with state and federal partners to secure funding for Houston's flood resilience. He highlighted the Partnership’s Washington D.C. Fly-In next week as an opportunity to advance priorities in the region’s flood resilience with federal partners. Council Member Abbie Kamin discussed the City’s new Resilient Houston strategic plan, which will institutionalize resiliency planning in city departments and serve as a blueprint for flood mitigation and overall resilience in the City of Houston over the next decade. Strong, Diverse Economy: Economic Development in the City of Houston City Council Members discussed their priorities for the energy transition and economic development in the City of Houston. As Chair of City Council's Transportation, Technology and Infrastructure Committee, Council Member David Robinson talked about the importance of the development of the Ion as a center for innovation in Houston and transit-oriented economic development. Council Member Abbie Kamin touched on energy transition. She highlighted the Partnership’s strategic focus, which Partnership 2020 Board Chair, Bobby Tudor, Chairman, Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co., announced at the Partnership’s Annual Meeting in January. His remarks are available here. Council Member Kamin discussed the city’s renewable energy portfolio and her priorities for how the city can support the energy transition.  Homelessness in Houston During Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s inaugural address earlier this year, he announced an initiative to continue addressing Houston’s homeless challenge. During the Future of Texas panel discussion, Houston City Council Members also discussed their priorities for housing and supporting Houston’s homeless. As the Chair of the City Council Quality of Life Committee, Council Member Robert Gallegos, discussed potential policies to address Houston’s homeless challenge. Parks and Green Spaces Council Member Gallegos highlighted key parks and green space expansions and improvements within the City of Houston that are underway or soon to be completed. He expressed his support of the 50/50 Parks Partners initiative to uplift 50 neighborhood parks within the City of Houston. He also described the importance of connecting transit with parks, focusing on his effort to connect downtown Houston with Memorial Park, which is in the midst of a $200 million Master Plan improvement.  Next Month: Future of Texas On March 27, the Partnership will host its next Future of Texas panel focused on Higher Education and Workforce Development. The Future of Texas series, which is a part of our Business Resource Group (BRG), features elected officials shaping our state's future, giving Partnership members the opportunity to engage with these leaders and hear their perspectives on our city and state's most pressing issues. Learn more here.
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Economy

Coronavirus, Brexit and a Chinese Trade Deal: Recent Events and the Potential Impact on Houston

2/18/20
Bayou Business Download is a podcast from the Greater Houston Partnership that dives into the data and analytics influencing the region’s economy and the core business sectors that drive Houston’s growth.  On this edition of Bayou Business Download, we chat with Partnership Senior Vice President of Research Patrick Jankowski about a number of recent global events, from the coronavirus and Brexit to the signing of the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, and their potential impact on Houston.   Here are 5 key takeaways from the conversation:  Coronavirus Concerns While there is a great deal of understandable global concern around the coronavirus (now named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization), the vast majority of cases remain centered in China where officials are working to contain it. However, China is a much bigger player in the global economy than it was 17 years ago during the SARS outbreak. Back then, China represented only 4.3% of global economic activity compared with 15.3% today. We also didn’t have the integrated global supply chain that we do now and those are just a couple of the reasons global markets are concerned about this outbreak. The virus’ affect on Houston is likely to be felt in trade, tourism and other areas, but the biggest impact may be the drop in demand for crude oil and related products. U.S.-China Trade Deal As China deals with the coronavirus, trade tensions between the U.S. and the world’s largest country are easing. A newly signed U.S.-China trade deal essentially calls a truce to what had been a mounting trade war and starts removing some tariffs on both sides. Parts of the deal call for the Chinese to open their automobile markets as well as buy more agricultural products and energy products from the U.S. The Chinese have agreed to buy another $200 billion in goods and commodities over the next two years, including $52 billion in energy related products specifically. That is likely to have a positive impact here in Houston. USMCA The biggest impact of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is that it brings some certainty to trade between the countries. A lot of investment was sitting on the sidelines and this helps pave the way for that to move forward, particularly in Mexico which is Houston’s largest trading partner. We are going to see increased trade between the U.S. and Mexico as a result of the deal and that should prove a benefit to Houston. Brexit Part of what led voters in the United Kingdom to want to exit the European Union was that many felt they had lost control of their sovereignty under the EU. When the nation officially left the EU on January 31, they essentially left the political part of the union but they have 11 months to negotiate future trade relationships. Houston has already had visitors from the U.K. wanting to establish closer ties here and in Texas.  We’re likely to see an increased amount of physical trade of goods and commodities back and forth between Houston and the U.K. as well as an increase in investment from firms on both sides now that there are fewer restrictions. The Federal Reserve did not lower interest rates at its January meeting. That suggests the Fed is not concerned about a possible recession, which is good news for Houston since the health of the broader national economy is one of the three big pillars of the local economy, along with the global economy and the energy sector. Listen to this and future episodes of the Bayou Business Download podcast here. Get updates on key economic indicators and other data and analysis from the Partnership Research team here. Find more on these issues in the February edition of Economy at a Glance.   
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Related Events

Public Policy

Washington D.C. Fly-In

Join us in Washington, D.C. for the Greater Houston Partnership's 2020 D.C. Fly-In The Washington D.C. Fly-In is sold out, and we are no longer accepting registrations. If you are interested in…

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