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How will the Abilene Chamber lead in the next legislative session?

August 29, 2022Doug Williamson, Director of Government Affairs for the Abilene Chamber of Commerce

Have you ever been in a conversation when someone asks for your opinion? You know the times where they are just asking to be polite and however you respond it will go in one ear and out the other?

That is not true for a survey we’re asking you to respond to from the Abilene Chamber.

The Business Advocacy Council (BAC) is about to begin its work on the Chamber’s Legislative Agenda for the Texas Legislature’s session that begins Jan. 10, 2023.

Your response to the survey questions DIRECTLY influence the public policy positions the Abilene Chamber takes.

Two years ago, the agenda, or you could call them our priorities, covered issues from economic development to arts and tourism, and from water to business and transportation.

Once we have the results of the survey, the BAC will review them and write this session’s agenda of which the Chamber Board of Directors will have final approval.

Does Chamber advocacy on these issues work? Here is an example from a recent legislative session.

License Reciprocity: The Armed Forces secretaries told governors of all the states a top priority when they consider placing missions at installations is now quality of life, particularly public-school education, and the ability for military spouses to find jobs. One of the barriers for spouses who have professional licenses or certificates is the process to get the new state in which the family is stationed to recognize that license.

We took a leadership role in advocating for S.B. 1200, legislation that Sen. Dawn Buckingham co-wrote. The bill greatly eased the process for licensure in the state. The Chamber and a spouse from Dyess Air Force Base testified before a legislative committee. We had personal conversations with several lawmakers and many staff members. At the end of the session, the bill passed and is making it easier for spouses to get employed today.

Remember, at our core your Chamber is an advocacy organization working to help create a strong voice for the business community to lead and support inclusive policy at the local, state, and federal levels.

The survey is not long and takes less than five minutes to complete. Though it’s short, what you say absolutely makes a difference.

Click here for the survey.

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