The 88th legislative session has ended, and staff and partners have spent countless hours at the Capitol over the last few months working to make sure legislation that would help the Austin region was successful. While we didn’t get everything we wanted, we are excited to share that our top priority, a new economic development incentive program to replace Chapter 313 was passed in the final hours and has been signed to the Governor.

We had many other bills that we were watching and working on and below you can find the final outcomes for many of them. We are awaiting what will be listed as a priority for the special session and we may have an opportunity to get a few more wins out of the Capitol.

Special thank you to all of our partners and investors who helped us with our lobbying efforts and to our OA and Chamber board members who took time to come to the Capitol and help us advocate.

Economic Development

  • House Bill 5, Texas Jobs, Energy, Technology and Innovation Act, will provide an economic development tool that will allow Texas to become competitive again. Opportunity Austin and greater:SATX worked together to ensure our emerging mega-region remains a competitive location for companies to relocate or expand. We are proud this has been signed into law by the Governor.

    HB 5 is the replacement for Chapter 313 which was sunset at the end of 2022. This bill will allow for temporary tax incentives for business projects that are capital intensive. This bill will boost Texas' economy by creating more jobs, investments, and tax revenue- making the state attractive for businesses to relocate or expand. Additionally, taxpayers will have access to information on how the state incentive dollars are used, the number of jobs created, and the overall economic impact on the community.

    Read More About HB5 In the Austin Business Journal

  • HB 1515 - Texas Economic Development & Tourism Office Sunset

    Status: Passed

    This legislation continued funding for the Texas Economic Development and Tourism Office until 2035. Without this, the office would have been sunset this year. They are a key partner in helping us attract businesses to relocate to Texas and the Austin region.

  • HB 5174 CHIPS Act Funding

    Status: Passed

    This bill creates the Texas Semiconductor Innovation Consortium as an advisory panel to the governor and the legislature to help continue to develop Texas' semiconductor industry. The Supplemental Appropriations Bill, HB30, gives $698,300,000 to the Texas Semiconductor Innovation Fund, which is transferred to the Governor’s Office to administer according to the CHIPS Act. The Fund can be used to provide matching funding to state entities, including institutions of higher education, for semiconductor manufacturing and design projects; award grants to business entities with an established presence in this state to encourage economic development related to semiconductor manufacturing and design; and pay for staff support. The Austin region is one of the largest semiconductor clusters in the country and this will help ensure funding from the Federal CHIPS Act legislation makes its way to our region.

  • SB 1419 - Limits on Chapter 380 & 381 Agreements

    Status: Did not pass ❎

    This bill would have placed limits on the ability to provide tax incentives to corporations, which would have hampered our economic development efforts. We worked hard throughout the session to try to make improvements to this legislation, but ultimately our efforts centered around stopping this legislation.

  • SB 2289 & SJR87 Medical or Biomedical Ad Valorem Tax Exemption

    Status: Passed

    This creates a tax exemption for companies that have biomedical equipment or products that would normally be taxed as property. This legislation helps create better conditions for biomedical suppliers and medical facilities to operate statewide.


  • Opportunity Austin and Austin Chamber staff participated in a multiyear process to create recommendations for the legislature that ultimately resulted in this bill. This bill overhauls the state’s method of financing community colleges, shifting toward an outcomes-focused, industry-aligned model. In addition, this legislation will increase community college affordability by creating new scholarships to support high-demand industries. Lastly, it improves college capacity by providing funding for student support and inter-institutional shared services to better serve the state as its population grows.

  • Increase the Basic Allotment of Per Pupil Funding for K-12 Schools

    Did not pass ❌

    We have been advocating for providing more money to Texas public schools for multiple sessions. Texas ranks among the lowest in the nation, with per-student funding falling approximately $4,000 below the national average, making it challenging to adequately meet our students' needs.

    We will continue to advocate for raising the basic allotment, which forms the fundamental per-student funding component, to ensure our schools our funded to an appropriate level.

  • HB 1595 Texas University Fund

    Status: Passed

    This establishes a $3.4 billion research endowment that includes Texas State University and a few other state schools. This investment will strengthen Texas’ higher education institutions by providing funding to improve Texas State's national rankings.

  • HB 1605, SB 2124, & HB 1416 Improve Post-Secondary Student Readiness

    Status: All Passed

    All three of these pieces of legislation are intended to improve student readiness for post-secondary education. HB 1605 provides state funding to ensure that schools have access to grade-level curriculum. SB 2124 requires middle schools to create advanced mathematics programs to help students get a jumpstart on their math requirements. HB 1416 provides accelerated instruction for students who need support in key subject areas.

Workforce & Talent

  • HB 3287 Texas State Technical College Long-Term Authorization to Operate in Williamson County

    Status: Passed

    This bill makes the Williamson County campus a permanent part of the TSTC system and ensures the campus can continue to support economic development in Central Texas. In addition, this bill authorizes TSTC a new campus in Comal/Guadalupe County region to assist with meeting industry workforce needs.

  • HJR 201 & SJR 81 Endowment for Texas State Technical College

    Did not pass ❌

    These resolutions would have created permanent endowments to help Texas State Technical College and the Lamar State Colleges to fund capital needs related to career & technical education programs. These endowments would allow the colleges to respond more quickly to ensure career training programs meet labor market and employer talent needs.

  • HB 1755 – Lone Star Workforce of the Future Fund

    Status: Passed

    The Lone Start Workforce of the Future Fund takes a performance-based approach to help ensure that Texas will remain on the offensive in recruiting corporations with a highly trained workforce tailored to their corporate needs. Established for the purpose of creating and sustaining a utilization-driven supply of workers for high-demand occupations in Texas, the Lone Star Workforce of the Future Fund will address and close the gap between the skills needed by workers and the current skills of the available workforce in Texas.


  • HB 2795 & SB 1071 High Speed Connector Between SH130 & IH35

    Did not pass ❌

    This bill would have developed a non-tolled high-speed connector linking I-35 and SH 130 in the Caldwell County area. We have consistently advocated for additional transportation investments across the region and this would have added another option to travel across the greater Austin-San Antonio region.


  • HB 4051 Media Production Development Zone Population Requirements

    Status: Passed

    This amends the Government Code to revise the population-based criteria for recognition of an area as a media production development zone by removing the minimum population threshold for the principal municipality in the metropolitan statistical area in which the area is located. The bill applies only to an application for designation submitted on or after the bill's effective date. This legislation will help more cities around the region apply for incentives to attract film projects.

  • HB 4419 Virtual Film Program at Texas State

    Did not pass ❌

    This bill would have allowed Texas State University to establish a virtual film production institute to provide educational opportunities for students interested in studying virtual film production and promote student engagement in the development of a virtual film production industry in this state.

  • HB 4539 Motion Picture Grant Requirements

    Status: Passed

    This legislation makes changes to the eligibility requirements for a grant under the movie industry incentive program. It decreases the requirement for the production crew, actors, and extras from 70% to 55% as Texas residents.

Related Categories: Economic Development, Education and Talent, Public Policy, Transportation