Advocacy - Public Policy

The Texas Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Chambers of Commerce is a coalition of the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce, North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce, and San Antonio LGBT Chamber of Commerce. We work to achieve equality and inclusion by promoting economic vitality in our communities and strengthening LGBT and ally businesses.

The 1,000+ LGBTQ and Allied businesses of the Chambers speak with one voice. We call upon our local elected representatives to introduce or support legislation that supports diversity in the workplace and opposes discrimination. We know, in Texas, when business thrives, people prosper. For this to happen, all Texans must be included and respected.

The coalition of Texas LGBT Chambers support or oppose the following as part of our collective legislative agenda.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

SUPPORT: Continued funding of the Texas Enterprise Fund at a sufficient level to remain competitive with other states.

SUPPORT: Increasing funding to market Texas as a preferred tourism destination outside the state.

SUPPORT: Continued funding of both the Events Trust Fund and Major Events Trust Fund.

OPPOSE:  Any legislation that would be discriminatory or otherwise damage Texas’ reputation as “business-friendly” or negatively impact tourism.

 

EDUCATION

SUPPORT: Increasing funding for full day pre-K and early childhood education for all children.

SUPPORT: Continue current level of funding for tuition assistance for low income Texans including the Texas Grants and Texas Equalization Grants programs.

SUPPORT: Modifying higher education funding system to incentivize workforce readiness, certificate attainment and degree completion.

SUPPORT: Funding placement of mental health professionals in K-12 educational settings for early identification and treatment of mental illness.

OPPOSE:  Any unfunded mandates on education providers.

OPPOSE:  Diversion of any taxes collected as “School Taxes”.

 

HEALTHCARE

SUPPORT: Reducing the number of uninsured Texans by securing all available federal funds for the state Medicaid program.

SUPPORT: Increasing mental health funding, as well as alcohol and prescription drug dependency and abuse funding, to reduce overall burden placed upon taxpayers.

SUPPORT: Increasing funding for HIV services.

 

TRANSPORTATION

SUPPORT: Maintaining all transportation funding from Prop 1 and Prop 7 and the continued policy of no diversions from the State Highway Trust Funds.

SUPPORT: Construction of toll roads to ease congestion when funds available from taxes are not adequate for construction.

SUPPORT: Use of public-private partnerships to build transportation infrastructure.

SUPPORT: The reasonable use of eminent domain and related tools to allow for development of expanded transportation corridors including high-speed rail, commuter rail, freight rail, highways, telecommunication, water and gas pipelines.

SUPPORT: Updating transportation funding formulas to collect an alternative tax on vehicles that use Texas roads but do not use gasoline. 

OPPOSE: Any legislation that would create a jet fuel tax.

 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

SUPPORT: Maintain local control of property tax and appraisal decisions.

OPPOSE:  Any attempt by state legislators to preempt cities or counties ability to govern and raise funds as deemed necessary.

 

PUBLIC SAFETY

SUPPORT: Development, implementation and funding a plan that will reduce the probability of deadly assaults in Texas Schools.

OPPOSE:  Arming teachers and administrators as a solution to deadly assaults in schools.

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A Day at the Capitol with the Texas LGBT Chambers of Commerce

Chamber Members are invited to participate in the Texas LGBT Chambers of Commerce inaugural “A Day at the Capitol” advocacy day on Wednesday, February 20th.  Join us in Austin at the Capitol as we make history!  For the first time, the Chamber is partnering with our sister chambers across the state to visit legislators during the legislative session to talk about issues and legislation that are important to the LGBTQ and Allied business community.  Your voice matters…make YOUR voice heard!

This is a tremendous opportunity to…

  • Connect with legislators to talk about issues that impact your business.
  • Engage with other chamber members, chamber leadership and sponsors from across the state.

Participants will be trained on “How to Talk to Your Legislator” and given information to inform the conversations.

Program Agenda

Tuesday, February 19: Opening Reception; 6:00 – 8:00 PM (Location to be announced)

Wednesday, February 20: Breakfast/training, legislative meetings, lunch, additional meetings, end of day debrief; 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Refer to chamber calendar links below for more information.

The Texas LGBT Chambers have secured a special rate of $159 per night for participants at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown, 500 N. Interstate 35, Austin, TX 78701.  Book your reservations online TODAY to receive the special rate.  Hotel rooms are limited; special rate expires on February 1.   Reserve online at www.HGIAustin.com/GLBTCC. Alternatively, you can call the reservations line (1-800-955-4298).  Please reference either the SRP Group Code LGBTCC and/or the group name TX LGBT Chambers of Commerce. 

The Hilton Garden Inn Downtown offers valet parking only.  A special overnight rate of parking rate of $32.00 applies.

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