On Monday, Governor Greg Abbott delivered his biennial State of the State address, unveiling a legislative agenda centered on the state’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Abbott declared that “hard-working Texans are at the forefront of our agenda this legislative session as we build a healthier, safer, freer and more prosperous state.”
Abbott designated five emergency items, or items that the Legislature can vote on within the first 60 day of the session, which began Jan. 12. Those items include:
- Expanding broadband internet access
- Keeping cities from defunding the police
- Bail System Reform
- Election integrity
- Civil liability protections
Abbott also committed to “continue working with the Legislature to find ways to navigate a pandemic while also allowing businesses to remain open.” Items 1 and 5 are priorities for the Chamber and are included in our state legislative agenda approved by the Board of Directors in December.
Liability protections ranks top priority for the Chamber this Session, as the growing risk of opportunistic lawsuits against businesses and organizations poses a significant barrier in our ability to reignite our economy, get people back to work, protect those already back at work, and get students back to school. Additionally, the Chamber supports legislation to increase financial investment, promote public and private collaboration, and remove barriers to bridging the digital divide, including infrastructure deployment and access to high-speed internet services.
The Chamber has already begun to advocate on these critical legislative priorities and will continue to do so during the 87th Texas Legislative Session. The Chamber’s largest advocacy effort will be VIVA San Antonio 2021, which is scheduled for March 2-4. The virtual summit includes information sessions on the most pressing issues facing our community. The event is a great opportunity to make our voices heard, so we hope you will join us.
For more information, please contact Stephanie Reyes, VP of Public Policy at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (210) 229-2162
Click here to read the full transcript of Governor Abbott’s State of the state address, including his full list of emergency items.