87th Legislative Session Updates

March 19, 2021Doug Williamson, Director of Government Affairs

Speaker Phelan Addresses Power Outages
Now that the senate has passed its first legislative package dealing with the power outages, the ball is in the hands of the House. Speaker Dade Phelan has presented seven bills to address the power outages the state faced last month. We are keeping a close eye on the committee hearings and actions on these, and other related, bills. The bottom line is we need to make sure Texas has the infrastructure necessary to maintain its powerhouse status and provide critical infrastructure to support and grow the Texas business community.

Alcohol-to-go Voted Out of House Committee Unanimously
HB 1024, the “alcohol-to-go” bill, has been voted out of the House Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee. This bill makes alcohol to go sales that were put in place to help restaurants survive during the pandemic permanent.

Bills to Watch:

  • SB 144 – Economic Development/Chapter 313, reauthorizing school districts’ ability to provide tax abatement for economic development projects. Referred to Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee.
  • HB 1511 – Creation of the connectivity office within the Office of the Governor to work with the Governor’s Broadband Development Council and others in developing a statewide connectivity plan expanding access to high-speed internet service in Texas. Referred to State Affairs Committee.
  • HB 593 – Establishing an intergovernmental development corporation to foster minority- or women-owned construction businesses. Referred to International Relations and Economic Development Committee.
  • HB 1195/SB 372– The amount of the forgiveness of a loan made under the Paycheck Protection Program is not considered part of a business’ total revenue for franchise tax purposes. Pending in House Ways and Means Committee and referred to Senate Finance Committee.
  • SB 551  Prohibiting local authorities to require an employer to provide employment benefits to workers. Referred to the State Affairs Committee.

Click here for the Chamber’s Legislative Agenda or to reach out to our Government Affairs team.


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