2021 Year in Review: State Government
This year has been an especially busy one between the change in presidential administrations, the state legislature meeting for its regular session (plus three special sessions), local government activity, and the continued emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic. As always, the Lubbock Chamber has kept an eye out for policy issues that impact business in the Lubbock area.
In total, the Chamber tracked more than 400 bills making their way through the Texas legislative process. Here’s a review of our activity at the state level in 2021.
Voice of Business with State Policymakers
- Visited the Texas Capitol and conducted meetings with Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Senators Charles Perry, Kel Seliger, Dawn Buckingham, Speaker Dade Phelan, Representatives Frullo, Burrows, Darby, Lambert, King, and Texas Association of Business CEO Glenn Hamer
- In concert with Representative Burrows, hosted Governor Abbott at Montelongo’s for the announcement of the end of the state mask mandate, and Speaker Phelan during a trip to Lubbock
- Testified in the Texas House of Representatives in favor of a temporary safe harbor for good faith actors, defending businesses and employees from being held liable for the spread of COVID-19
- Submitted letter to Commissioner Mike Morath in support of maintaining K-12 education funding in the face of potential budget cuts
- Wrote multiple letters to members of the legislature and Governor Abbott in support of renewable energy projects being part of Texas’ energy portfolio and maintaining Chapter 313 incentives for economic development projects in the energy sector
- Supported reforms to enhance the reliability of the ERCOT grid with Lubbock’s transition underway, including support for HB 1607 and a letter to Governor Abbott requesting additional work be done to meet the needs of the state electrical grid
- Coordinated a grassroots campaign for Chamber members and the public to voice their support of adding Midwestern State University to the Texas Tech University System, which became official on September 1
- Published an op-ed in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal voicing support for the Permanent University Fund to be re-examined to ensure all public institutions of higher education are considered
- Supported streamlining of statewide employment regulations so businesses operating in multiple cities/counties would have regulatory certainty and consistency
- Supported several bills to enhance access to broadband in rural West Texas communities, allowing our region equal opportunity to engage in virtual education, commerce, and health care
- Promoted survey with membership for the ongoing regional flood planning efforts