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87th 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. As we approach the 2021 State Legislative Session, the Partnership will focus on this impact agenda that addresses the most pressing issues facing the business community and the Houston region. We invite you to join us in advancing 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

Access

The Partnership believes our people are our greatest asset, and all Texans should have equitable access to the institutions that power a strong, diverse economy and create true opportunity for all. 

Public Education
A strong public education system is vital for the long-term prosperity of our region and state. In 2019, House Bill 3 significantly increased the state’s investment in public education and directed some of that funding toward transformational initiatives. It is critical to protect a well-funded, accountable and equitable public education system that serves all children and strengthens our talent pipeline.
 
Higher Education
The Partnership supports policies that protect higher education funding and innovative programming options in the Houston region while increasing educational attainment rates, particularly in high-demand fields, with appropriate recognition of the impacts of COVID-19. The Partnership will also pursue policies that lead to more equitable access and attainment across the higher education ecosystem in Houston.
 
Racial and Social Equity
While the issues of racial inequity and systemic racism are not unique to Houston, the Partnership recognizes our responsibility to reform our broken criminal justice systems, strengthen trust within our communities, and offer support towards removing barriers to inclusivity and success. These issues will include policies related to criminal jurisprudence, criminal justice and equitable access to pillars of our society such as public education and health care. 

Energy Competitiveness

The Partnership is committed to ensuring that Houston plays a key role in the global energy transition to a more efficient and sustainable, lower-carbon future and to accommodate global demand growth. Permitting, regulatory and energy infrastructure solutions are needed to strengthen Texas' energy competitiveness. To advance the energy transition, legislation should position the Houston region to lead the development of carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS).

Permitting
It is important to Texas’ competitive advantage that the state address permitting issues hindering private investment in the energy economy. 

Regulation
The Partnership supports legislation to strengthen regulatory certainty and attract economic development in the industry, including policies related to CCUS projects on state-owned lands.

Energy Infrastructure
The Partnership supports policies that position Houston to develop technology and construct the infrastructure needed to advance the region's position as the Energy Capital of the World.

Public Policy Updates

Related News

Economy

Partnership Statements on Texas Expanding Business Reopening Plans

9/17/20
HOUSTON (September 17, 2020) - The Greater Houston Partnership released these statements on behalf of its president and CEO, Bob Harvey, with regards to Governor Abbott's expansion of the state’s reopening plans. More details about the announcement and the modified metrics may be found here. Statements Attributable to Bob Harvey, president and CEO, Greater Houston Partnership  On Governor Abbott’s announcement We are pleased that Governor Abbott has signaled we are moving forward with reopening a greater portion of the Texas economy. Houstonians have done a great job working together – masking up and maintaining social distancing – to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. It is now critical that we get Houstonians back to work and restore our small businesses that have been so severely impacted.  However, as we continue to reopen, it is even more critical that we do so safely and sustainably.  On importance of maintaining practices to safely reopen the economy Houstonians have shown we can manage COVID-19 in our community by wearing masks, washing our hands and keeping our distance from others. As the economy continues to reopen, it is crucial that we continue these practices to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our families, our employees, and our community.  As we increase our activity, we cannot let our guard down. COVID-19 is still prevalent in greater Houston. We must be vigilant and continue practicing the same safety measures that helped us slow the spread of COVID-19 in recent weeks. If we all do our part, we can enjoy a better quality of life this fall.  ### Greater Houston Partnership The Greater Houston Partnership works to make Houston one of the best places to live, work and build a business. As the economic development organization for the Houston region, the Partnership champions growth across 12 counties by bringing together business and civic-minded leaders who are dedicated to the area’s long-term success. Representing 1,100 member organizations and approximately one-fifth of the region’s workforce, the Partnership is the place business leaders come together to make an impact. Learn more at Houston.org. CONTACT:     Vice President, Communications          (c) 504-450-3516 | amistretta@houston.org Maggie Martin  Senior Manager, Communications          mmartin@houston.org 
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Membership

Three Years After Harvey, a Look at Resiliency

9/16/20
Three years on and Texas is still working to recover from Hurricane Harvey. Harris County and the Texas General Land office host regular calls and issue ongoing reports to lay out the status of recovery and mitigation projects. As of early September, 50 housing assistance projects are still under review within Harris County, awaiting a potential $8.7 million in disbursements. As recently as the week of August 14, 2020, 18 checks were sent to homeowners in Harris County for Harvey damages. The General Land Office is now taking applications for $5 billion in flood mitigation project grants from federal funds issued after Harvey. A second round of applications will be due in 2021, nearly four years after the storm. The pace of progress on these projects is often frustrating, but understandable considering the government process. The multiple governmental layers [local, state and federal] and jurisdictions require studies, public hearings and comment periods to ensure opportunities for citizens to weigh in, application processes and reviews, rules to ensure program equity, oversight to ensure tax dollars are spent wisely, and more. All of that is in addition to the engineering studies and construction of the project, which can itself take years. Harris County is working with FEMA to develop new flood maps for the region by 2023, which could provide improved insights for flood mitigation projects.  The Partnership worked hard with officials at every level of government to help secure flood recovery and mitigation assistance. Although Hurricane Harvey may be three years past, flooding remains a long-term threat to the quality of life and economic vitality of the Houston region. The Houston region must stay focused on the addressing the issues that Hurricane Harvey exposed three years ago. 
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See the Partnership's Full Legislative Agenda

The Partnership believes competitive economic development tools, including the Chapter 313 property tax abatement program, are critical to bringing new businesses to the region and growing our economy and should be reauthorized.
The Partnership supports the state’s ongoing role in improving Texas’ flood resilience, leveraging the $2 billion appropriation made during the 2019 legislative session towards Hurricane Harvey recovery and future flood mitigation.
Following COVID-19 and in recognition of the lessons learned in combating the pandemic, sustainable policies protecting our health care safety net, increasing patient resources and access to care are needed to build a healthier Houston.
The Partnership supports policies to address the concerns many business owners and health care professionals have about operating in a COVID-19 environment without appropriate legal liability protections.
Qualified and skilled workers are vital to the success of Houston’s industries. The Partnership supports reskilling or upskilling workers and improving access to the workforce for Texans without a college degree.
Economic prosperity relies upon the ability to efficiently move goods and people. The Partnership believes in maintaining transportation funding options.
The Partnership supports an agreement on eminent domain statutes that respects the rights of private landowners while meeting the infrastructure needs of the Texas energy industry.
The Partnership supports developing industry-led solutions for addressing the flaring of methane.

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. 

Meet Us at an Upcoming Event

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
Executive Partners