Skip to main content

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.

During the 87th Texas Legislative Session, the Partnership focused on an impact agenda that addressed 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.

87th Legislative Session Summary

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

Executive Priorities

Access and Energy Competitiveness led the Partnership's legislative agenda in 2021. Learn more about the impact these issues have on the business climate of our region and how we focused on the elements of each during session below.

Access

All Texans should have equitable access to the institutions that power a strong, diverse economy and create true opportunity for all. The business community recognizes our responsibility to help dismantle racial inequity and systemic racism, strengthen trust within our communities, and remove barriers to inclusivity and success. During the 87th legislative session, the Partnership supported policies related to equitable access to education, digital connectivity and health care.

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 considerable funding toward transformational initiatives many of which were directed toward underserved student populations. It was critical to protect these programs. We support maintaining a well-funded, accountable and equitable public education system that serves all children and strengthens our talent pipeline.  
 
Higher Education
The Partnership supported policies to protect higher education funding and innovative programming options in the Houston region while increasing educational attainment rates, particularly in high-demand fields. The Partnership pursued policies to improve equitable access and attainment across the regional higher education ecosystem.

Digital Divide
All Texans should have equitable access to digital connectivity that empowers their education, employment, health care, and the economy. The Partnership supported the creation of a statewide broadband office to address the unique needs of communities across the state and establish the framework to provide every household with the broadband connectivity required in the twenty-first century.

Health Care
The Partnership believes in building a healthier Houston region by protecting public health and improving our health care safety net. A healthier region is supported by policies that increase patient resources, secure sustainable funding, and provide greater access to preventative care. The Partnership supported innovative solutions to providing health care coverage to more Texans, ensuring new mothers continue to have access to health care services after birth, and increasing the use and availability of telemedicine and telehealth across the state. 

Hermann Park Reflecting Pool crowd

 

Energy Competitiveness

The Partnership is committed to ensuring that the Houston region leads the global energy transition to a more efficient and sustainable, low-carbon future while meeting growing global demand for energy. Permitting, regulatory and energy infrastructure solutions are needed to strengthen Texas' energy competitiveness. To advance the energy transition, the Partnership supported legislation that would position the Houston region to lead the development of carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS).

Permitting
Texas’ competitive advantage depends on the state addressing permitting issues hindering private investment in the energy economy.

Regulation
The Partnership supported legislation to strengthen regulatory certainty and attract economic development in the industry, including policies related to CCUS projects.

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

Energy Corridor
Business Community Priorities

See the Partnership's Full Legislative Agenda

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

Energy

Infrastructure Investment, Energy Transition Lead Discussion During Partnership D.C. Fly-In

5/4/22
In late April, the Greater Houston Partnership hosted a reputable group of more than 60 business leaders, energy industry experts, and governmental relations professionals in our nation’s capitol to meet with leaders and decision makers working on some of the most important issues facing our nation, state, and region. The 2022 Washington D.C. Fly-In focused on the Houston Energy Transition Initiative and underscored Houston’s position as the Energy Capitol of the World, and the importance of large-scale infrastructure investments for our region, such as the coastal barrier. The Partnership’s President and CEO, Bob Harvey, and the Partnership’s Public Policy Division successfully facilitated discussions reinforcing the Partnership and its member companies as key resources for policymakers on the global energy transition and infrastructure investments.  Throughout the week, the group met with several members of the Texas Congressional Delegation, the White House and Administration officials, and other stakeholders on issues of energy transition, infrastructure, and the economy.   Photos from the Partnership’s D.C. Fly-In from April 2022 are available here.  April 2022: Washington D.C. Fly-In Highlights The 2022 Washington D.C. trip afforded attendees the opportunity for in-person advocacy and engagement through a series of meetings on Capitol Hill and at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which emphasized Houston’s role in leading the world in the low carbon future and strengthening our region for the future.  Washington D.C. Fly-In: By the Numbers:  Over 60 Attendees Three Days: One day on Capitol Hill and two days hosted at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce  Thirteen Congressional Engagements (in order of appearance):  Senator John Cornyn Senator Ted Cruz Representative Al Green  Representative August Pfluger  Representative Lizzie Fletcher  Representative Troy Nehls  Representative Brian Babin  Representative Randy Weber Representative Dan Crenshaw  Representative Jodey Arrington  Representative John Curtis (R-Utah-03)  Representative Sheila Jackson Lee  Representative Kevin Brady  One Briefing with Ukrainian Ambassador Roman Popadiuk One White House Briefing  Two Agency Briefings:  Eric Haxthuasen, Senior Advisor for Climate, Partnerships, and Innovation, USTDA  Lynda Tran, Senior Advisor and Director of Public Engagement, DOT One briefing with Governor Abbott’s Office of State-Federal Relations Four briefings from U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Marty Durbin, President, Global Energy Institute  Curtis Dubay, Senior Economist  John Murphy, Senior Vice President, International Affairs Vince Voci, Vice President, Cyber Policy and Operations Two D.C. based journalist provided insights: Jonathan Martin, National Political Correspondent, New York Times and Abby Livingston, Washington Bureau Chief, Texas Tribune  One Washington Nationals baseball game  The 2022 Washington D.C. Fly-In also provided an opportunity for in-person engagement focused on the energy transition. With the launch of the Houston Energy Transition Initiative (HETI), the Partnership and its member companies are pursuing federal policies to create high-quality, high-growth jobs. Leveraging members’ expertise, the Partnership works with lawmakers to advance the region’s energy competitiveness and secure Houston’s position as a leader in the global energy transition. Working closely with HETI, the Partnership embraces the dual challenge of the energy transition by meeting growing global demand for energy while lowering emissions. There is a tremendous business opportunity in addressing the dual challenge through developing and scaling technologies, creating, and servicing markets for the global energy mix, and investing in energy priorities. This trip to Capitol Hill further solidified Houston industry as a leader in the energy transition efforts.  Texas as the Best Place to do Business: Texas Tri-City Reception and Dinner Senator John Cornyn and Senator Ted Cruz joined the Greater Houston Partnership, the Dallas Regional Chamber, the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, and the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region at a reception Tuesday evening to kickstart the trip.  Senator Cornyn noted that Texas’ economy is back on track after bipartisan efforts were made to address the negative effects of the pandemic.   Senator Cruz highlighted the importance of job growth, remarking that “if energy is prospering and small businesses are prospering, then Texas is prospering.”  Houston Energy Transition Initiative and Congressional Efforts  Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher, a member of the powerful House Committee on Energy and Commerce, highlighted the importance of engagement by Houston’s energy industry and the Partnership as a trusted source of information on the energy transition. Representing the Houston region, Congresswoman Fletcher noted that Houston has the “deep experience and subject matter expertise” to help diversify our energy sources.  The Partnership heard from Congressman John Curtis (R-Utah-03), who chairs the newly formed Conservative Climate Caucus. This climate caucus believes answers can be “found in innovation embraced by the free market,” and that the United States has prevailed as a global leader in reducing emissions to date because “private sector innovation, American resources, and R&D investment has resulted in lower emissions and affordable energy.” See here.  When speaking on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its impact on European energy, Congressman Curtis emphasized that “permanence” is the key element of Europe’s future energy independence.  Lane Stricker, HETI Executive Director, led a fireside chat with John Dabbar, ConocoPhillips’ Managing Director Low Carbon Technologies, discussing the dual challenge of the energy transition by meeting growing global demand for energy while lowering emissions.  Houston Regional Delegation Congressman Kevin Brady, Ranking Member of the influential House Ways & Means Committee, thanked the Partnership and its member companies for the continued support over his 25-year tenure on Capitol Hill. Congressman Brady is retiring at the end of 2022, and he noted that he is “more hopeful than ever” in the future of our region and our State.  The group heard from Congressman Dan Crenshaw on his efforts to bolster our region through his work on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.  Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee spoke to the important work she and her congressional colleagues are doing to ensure Houston continues to thrive.  Congressman Al Green also stopped in to thank the Partnership’s member companies and business leaders for their progress and innovation in the Houston region.  Congressman Troy Nehls, Congressman Brian Babin, and Congressman Randy Weber all spoke to the exceptional collaboration amongst Texas’ congressional delegates and how these strong relationships best serve our region.  Friends of Houston  Congressman August Pfluger, U.S. Representative for Texas's 11th Congressional District encompassing Midland and Odessa, expressed his appreciation for the strong relationship between Houston and his region and highlighted his district’s contribution to Texas’ energy security.  The Partnership also heard from Congressman Jodey Arrington, U.S. representative for Texas' 19th Congressional District encompassing Lubbock and Abilene, on the importance of American energy independence.  Infrastructure Policy: The Coastal Spine and Transportation  The group heard from Coalter Baker, Deputy Director of the Texas Office of State-Federal Relations, who emphasized the importance of local elected officials and business to remain connected with the Governor’s office as the State works to draw down federal dollars in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).  Throughout the week, the topic of congressional authorization and funding for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (Corps) Coastal Texas Study — also referred to the “Coastal Spine” project — arose in the context of infrastructure dollars. The 2022 Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA) provides opportunities to advance navigation, flood damage reduction, and ecosystem restoration projects like the Coastal Spine project, and several members of the Texas delegation expressed their support for the project and its necessary funding.  Overall, the 2022 Washington, D.C. Fly-In provided our member companies with a unique opportunity to engage with the Members of Congress and federal agency officials, as well as business leaders, stakeholders, and decision makers working on our top regional issues. These important discussions advance Houston’s energy competitiveness and secure our region’s position as a leader in the global energy transition, and ensure continued infrastructure investments to our state and region. Learn more about the Partnership's Public Policy efforts here.   
Read More
Public Policy

Key Outcomes of the 87th Texas Legislative Session

7/5/21
The Greater Houston Partnership is the region's primary business advocate and works on behalf of and alongside our 900 member companies to advance policy that supports continued economic growth across Texas. At the conclusion of the 87th Legislative Session formally the Greater Houston Partnership released a summary of outcomes from the organization's impact agenda for the 2021 session. In advance of this session, the Partnership’s Board of Directors and Public Policy Steering Committee worked to develop a legislative agenda that addresses the most pressing issues facing the business community and the greater Houston region – these being broadly categorized as access and energy competitiveness. Key wins were passed in both of these priority areas this session, with bills signed into law that:  Advance equitable access to public education, digital connectivity and health care Create a landscape that positions the Houston region to lead the development of carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS), a key step in advancing the global energy transition Address business community priorities including workforce development, legal liability protections, transportation infrastructure and economic development Despite the challenges presented throughout the 2021 session including the ongoing pandemic and Winter Storm Uri, the Partnership successfully advanced important legislation that supports continued economic growth across Texas.  We hope this overview of outcomes gives you insight to key policy issues facing the greater Houston region and thank you for your ongoing support and engagement in our work.  View the full report. Learn more about the Partnership's public policy work. 
Read More

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