North Texas Commission Board of Directors Approves 87th Legislative Agenda
September 24, 2020 at 5:00:00 AM
NORTH TEXAS – The Board of Directors of the North Texas Commission approved the region’s legislative policy agenda for the upcoming 87th Texas Legislative Session. The policy issues cover 41 issues ranging from business competitiveness to water and infrastructure planning.
“We know the 87th Texas Legislative Session will look different than any others we’d had in the last century, but we’re not letting that distract us from what’s important – to keep Texas business-friendly, to allow the government closest to our citizens, our municipalities, to react to their citizens’ needs and to ensure that our schools have all the tools to support teachers and provide our kids with the best education possible,” said NTC President and CEO Chris Wallace.
The priorities were developed with extensive input from North Texas Commission members and regional leaders through several meetings of our policy task forces. Once the draft of priorities was developed, it was reviewed and approved by the NTC’s Government Affairs Committee chaired by Lori McMahon of Toyota Motor North America and approved last week by the Board of Directors chaired by Dr. Joe May of Dallas College.
In addition to the NTC’s four-person lobby team, the Commission also hired The Rodriguez Group to serve as the organization’s state lobby firm. Marc Rodriguez has worked on key legislative issues during the last 13 Texas legislative sessions. He utilizes his experiences as a political advisor, analyst, strategist, and tactician to address emerging and ongoing issues that affect our state. As an attorney and legislative consultant, Jennifer Rodriguez brings expertise in economic development, local government, and technology in addition to her experience at the state capitol as a legislative staff member and employee at a government relations division of a state agency.
“With Marc and Jennifer Rodriguez representing us in Austin, alongside our in-house lobby team, as well as former State Rep. Jim Keffer and former superintendent Dr. Charles Luke, we are poised to deliver impactful results to our members, and to the region,” Wallace added.
These priorities and what to expect out of the 87th Texas Legislative Session will be discussed in depth during a two-day virtual Legislative Summit October 20 and 21. Confirmed speakers and panelists include Comptroller Glenn Hegar, Senator Jane Nelson, Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, Rep. Phil King and Rep. Chris Turner, alongside several other legislators as well as industry and association leaders across Texas.
During the 86thLegislative Session, the North Texas Commission launched the Regional Chambers Coalition. This coalition, comprised of the Dallas Regional Chamber, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, Frisco Chamber of Commerce, Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce, McKinney Chamber of Commerce, North Dallas Chamber, Plano Chamber of Commerce and the Richardson Chamber of Commerce, brings together the largest community chambers with dedicated legislative teams to work in tandem to tackle our region’s toughest policy challenges. The majority of our region’s 102 chambers of commerce are engaged with the NTC’s regional advocacy efforts to present a unified voice in Austin. This coalition proved to be incredibly effective during the 86th. The North Texas Commission will be expanding our regional advocacy efforts with both a Regional Cities Coalition and a Regional Counties Coalition.
Established in 1971, the North Texas Commission is a unique public-private partnership that drives large impactful projects and legislative issues benefiting a robust 13-county region, and tackles the region’s greatest challenges with board and staff subject matter experts who provide resources to market the region and educate future leaders. The Commission also manages the region’s unified advocacy voice at the state and federal levels.