Last week the monthly luncheon for Opportunity Austin investors included a forecast of the upcoming Texas Legislative Session at the November Economic Development Corporation luncheon, generously hosted by Jacobs in their beautiful offices. The presentation included a financial outlook from Dale Craymer, president of the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association. The Chamber's policy and advocacy team provided a preview of the state legislative agenda that has been approved by the Austin Chamber Board of Directors.

Opportunity Austin Board Chair Gary Farmer opened the meeting with important updates and recognition of Jeremy Martin, who is leaving the Austin Chamber after a 17-year career. In addition, the luncheon had a thanksgiving theme with turkey and all of the fixings for lunch and a message from Gary about how thankful everyone is for our investor's dedication.

Dale Craymer provided a financial outlook for the upcoming legislative session. He noted that there is likely to be a very substantial budget surplus for lawmakers to work with as they are creating the budget. He highlighted the dynamics and competing priorities that are likely to influence lawmakers' decisions on how to spend the surplus money that the state has at its disposal.

Dr. Richard Rhodes, Chancellor of Austin Community College, shared how critical funding for community colleges across the state will be during this legislative session. The Austin Chamber's legislative agenda includes advocating for funding for community colleges.

Finally, staff from the Austin Chamber then presented the stage legislative agenda for the upcoming session. The legislative agenda will be presented to the Austin Chamber Board of Directors at their November meeting. The priorities are a framework for the Chamber's policy team to conduct advocacy on behalf of businesses and the Central Texas area. This year's proposed state legislative agenda focuses on reforming the recapture system and funding for public education, implementing an alternative to Chapter 313 agreements, support for community colleges, and much more to help the business community.

To find out more about the Chamber's advocacy, you can visit our page about it.