TAB Joins the Collective Call for a Statewide Public Education Recovery Task Force

6/29/2020

Dear Governor Abbott, Lt. Governor Patrick, Speaker Bonnen,
Commissioner Morath, Commissioner Keller, and Lawmakers:

 

Texas is a state built on grit, resiliency, and optimism. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Texans are manifesting this spirit and determination in so many important ways, large and small. We are proud that public education in Texas—both educators and students—is at the vanguard of our state’s efforts to keep Texas strong and its future bright.

 

Texas public schools began the year buoyed by your successful efforts to address public school finance reform during the last Legislative Session. A broad-based, bipartisan coalition found common ground, committing to a long-term strategy to invest in public education and improve student outcomes. We thank each of you for your heroic efforts to achieve these reforms and for your continued dedication to seeing the reforms implemented. We are also grateful for TEA’s recent efforts in support of HB 3 implementation, providing COVID-19 resources, and the agency’s focus on closing the digital divide.

 

When COVID-19 hit, Texas parents saw first-hand how vital a role quality public education plays in the lives of students and their families. Our public schools turned on a dime to address the educational needs of students in the midst of this public health crisis.

 

We know that public education serves a unique purpose. Our schools are more than classrooms and textbooks. Public schools educate students, but they also provide structure, safety, and support. While our schools rose to the immediate challenges posed by COVID-19, the pandemic further laid bare the already existing inequities in our school system and the communities they serve. The disproportionate health and economic impacts of the pandemic have reinforced our resolve to provide these students with the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve their full potential in a post-COVID Texas.

 

For these reasons, we respectfully ask that you create or utilize an existing statewide task force to urgently focus on the following key challenges posed by COVID-19 to public education. Addressing these important issues facing our schools, teachers, and students will require mobilizing the right experts in public education, public health, and technology, to name a few. The task force should provide the necessary tools and guidance for schools and districts as they navigate the new realities posed by COVID-19. In particular, we would urge you to assess six key areas:

 

Maintaining funding: In June 2019, Governor Abbott signed historic school finance reforms to improve student outcomes and improve equity for Texas students. The state must maintain current education funding levels and allow time for all of the evidence-based reforms of House Bill 3 to be implemented fully. The task force should work with state leadership to maximize federal resources available for Texas public schools and allocate these federal dollars wisely to ensure that temporary revenues do not create new, recurring costs for local districts and taxpayers.

 

Connectivity, access to technology, and contingency planning: Education recovery and response plans should ensure connectivity for all 5.4 million PK-12 students, including access to reliable, high-quality internet and computers or tablets. School districts need support as they consider a range of possible scenarios that COVID-19 might present, including in-person, online, hybrid, and intermittent scheduling. Further, work must be done to ensure that online and alternative instructional methods are rigorous and high-quality for all students.

 

Professional development: Taking care of students begins with setting our teachers up for success. Educators are our frontline responders, and COVID-19 requires schools to respond by providing professional development for combined in-person and online instruction as well as equipping them with trauma training.

 

Assessment and support for students: Teachers and school leaders will need clear and ongoing data to assess students’ abilities and progress during these difficult times. This task force should identify and recommend methods of assessing learning loss that leverage districts’ existing longitudinal data, maximize student learning time, and provide critical statewide information to lawmakers regarding the breadth of students’ loss of learning during COVID-19.

 

Health and safety: Re-opening or contingency plans should place health and safety first. Public schools will face increased costs associated with purchasing personal protective equipment, refitting school spaces, and altering academic calendars and school days. Schools must have sufficient resources and sound plans to ensure the safety of students, staff, and families.

 

Acknowledge the economic costs of inaction: If our schools stumble, we all stumble. Failure to support our public schools and generate trust in the state’s and local districts’ ability to deliver quality education will have far-reaching and long-lasting consequences on our economy, our workforce, and our future prosperity. Today, with an unemployment rate of 13 percent and 2.4 million Texans filing for unemployment in the last 90 days (the vast majority of whom do not have a post-secondary credential), we must ensure our schools are prioritizing college, career, and military readiness more than ever so that students are prepared for in-demand, high-value jobs.

 

Texas will not recover until our public schools recover. We urge you to act now — for our students, our citizens, and our future.

 

In dedicated partnership,

Texas 2036, I Commit, Texas Association of School Administrators, Raise Your Hand Texas, Austin Chamber of Commerce, Dallas Citizens Council, Dallas Regional Chamber, E3 Alliance, Educate Texas, Good Reason Houston, Greater Houston Partnership, North Texas Commission, Pre-K 4 SA, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, Teach Plus, Texas Association of Business, Texas Association of School Boards, Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium, Texas School Alliance

TXBIZ PAC Releases List of Legislative Endorsements for Pro-Business Candidates

2/7/2020

TXBIZ PAC, the political action committee representing the Texas Association of Business, released its first round of endorsements for legislative candidates and incumbents. TXBIZ PAC supports contenders and officeholders who are committed to improving the business environment in the state and will remain focused on the issues impacting Texans.

“The Texas Association of Business State PAC Board based their endorsements on a number of considerations that included incumbents’ performances on our scorecard, as well as intel received from our membership on contested races.  The PAC Board will continue to look at the remaining races in both the primary and general elections to determine if additional endorsements make sense.  In summary, we chose to support the candidates we believe are focused on solving the critical issues facing Texas – investment in transportation and infrastructure, economic development, education and job creation,” said TXBIZ PAC Chairman Brett Graham. “We look forward to working with these leaders.”

Below, the complete list of TXBIZ PAC legislative endorsements:

Senator Brandon Creighton, SD 4

Senator Larry Taylor, SD 11

Senator Jane Nelson, SD 12

Senator Lois Kolkhorst, SD 18

Senator Pete Flores, SD 19

Senator Brian Birdwell, SD 22

Senator Dawn Buckingham, SD 24

Senator Eddie Lucio Jr., SD 27

Senator Charles Perry, SD 28

Representative Gary VanDeaver, HD 1

Representative Dan Flynn, HD 2

Representative Cecil Bell, HD 3

Representative Keith Bell, HD 4

Representative Jay Dean, HD 7

Representative Cody Harris, HD 8

Representative Chris Paddie, HD 9

Representative Travis Clardy, HD 11

Representative Kyle Kacal, HD 12

Representative Ben Leman, HD 13

Representative John Raney, HD 14

Representative Will Metcalf, HD 16

Representative John Cyrier, HD 17

Representative Ernest Bailes, HD 18

Representative James White, HD 19

Representative Dade Phelan, HD 21

Representative Greg Bonnen, HD 24

Candidate Gary Gates, HD 28

Representative Ed Thompson, HD 29

Representative Geanie Morrison, HD 30

Representative Todd Hunter, HD 32

Representative Justin Holland, HD 33

Representative Oscar Longoria, HD 35

Representative J.M. Lozano, HD 43

Representative John Kuempel, HD 44

Candidate Carrie Isaac, HD 45

Representative Andrew Murr, HD 53

Representative Brad Buckley, HD 54

Representative Hugh Shine, HD 55

Representative Charles “Doc” Anderson, HD 56

Representative Trent Ashby, HD 57

Representative DeWayne Burns, HD 58

Representative J.D. Sheffield, HD 59

Representative Phil King, HD 61

Representative Reggie Smith, HD 62

Representative Tan Parker, HD 63

Representative Lynn Stucky, HD 64

Representative Drew Springer, HD 68

Representative James Frank, HD 69

Representative Scott Sanford, HD 70

Representative Stan Lambert, HD 71

Representative Drew Darby, HD 72

Representative Tracy King, HD 80

Representative Brooks Landgraf, HD 81

Representative Tom Craddick, HD 82

Representative Dustin Burrows, HD 83

Representative John Frullo, HD 84

Representative Phil Stephenson, HD 85

Representative John Smithee, HD 86

Representative Four Price, HD 87

Representative Ken King, HD 88

Representative Candy Noble, HD 89

Candidate Jim Griffin, HD 92

Representative Craig Goldman, HD 97

Representative Giovanni Capriglione, HD 98

Representative Charlie Geren, HD 99

Representative Linda Koop, HD 102

Representative Morgan Meyer, HD 108

Representative Angie Chen Button, HD 112

Representative Steve Allison, HD 121

Representative Lyle Larson, HD 122

Representative Sam Harless, HD 126

Representative Dan Huberty, HD 127

Representative Dennis Paul, HD 129

Representative Tom Oliverson, HD 130

Representative Jim Murphy, HD 133

Representative Sarah Davis, HD 134

Chief Justice Nathan Hecht, Supreme Court of Texas

Justice Jane Bland, Supreme Court of Texas Place 6

Justice Jeff Boyd, Supreme Court of Texas Place 7

Justice Brett Busby, Supreme Court of Texas Place 8

Chief Justice Jeff Rose, Third Court of Appeals

These endorsements are the first in a series of endorsement announcements from TXBIZ PAC. Primary endorsements for statewide and judicial races are forthcoming. TXBIZ PAC will also be making endorsements for any run-off elections as well as the November general election.

About TXBIZ PAC

TXBIZ PAC is the political action committee representing the Texas Association of Business. TXBIZ PAC prides itself on supporting candidates who will nurture the business environment in Texas. TXBIZ PAC endorses and supports candidates across both legislative and statewide races.

TAB Statement on Closing U.S.-Mexico Border

4/1/2019

“The closing of the U.S.-Mexico Border would be economically devastating to Texas. The Lone Star state is dependent on trade; it is our lifeblood. If you want to create an economic crisis, then shutting down the border will create a financial crisis.

 

No group stands to lose more than Texans in communities like Brownsville, McAllen, Laredo, and El Paso. In Laredo alone, approximately 16,000 trucks and 1,400 rail cars cross the city’s border each day, and the Port of Laredo handled more than 50 percent of U.S.-Mexico bilateral goods traded just two years ago. Also, it doesn’t stop there, U.S. trade with Mexico exceeds $1.7 billion daily, and nearly half a million people legally cross the U.S.-Mexico border every day as employees, employers, students, shoppers, and tourists.

 

We support Senator John Cornyn and Senator Ted Cruz, as well as our bipartisan Members of Congress and Texas State leadership, including Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, and Speaker Dennis Bonnen in their efforts to promote trade with Mexico. We ask our state and federal leaders along with our border communities to stand-up for what is right for our state and let the administration know by closing the U.S.-Mexico border the economic consequence will be immediate and severe to our great state and the entire nation.”

Sen. Creighton, Rep. Goldman File Consistent Employment Regulation Bills

2/12/2019

The Alliance for Securing and Strengthening the Economy in Texas today released the following statement regarding the of filing Senate Bill 15 by Sen. Brandon Creighton and House Bill 1654 by Rep. Craig Goldman, or the Consistent Employment Regulations bills:

 

“Private employment regulations are a statewide issue and a critical part of what makes Texas economically competitive. It’s the Legislature’s responsibility to make sure Texas’ regulatory and economic policies are consistent and streamlined and help grow jobs, not hamper job growth,” ASSET Spokesperson Annie Spilman said. “Texans from both sides of the aisle support consistent statewide employment policies over an unnecessary patchwork of regulations. These bills are critical to cutting red tape and encouraging job growth and investment in every part of Texas.”

 

Senate Bill 15 and House Bill 1654 establish consistent private employment regulations for Texas, rather than a patchwork network of local regulations that can hamper economic development and drive away jobs in certain areas of the state. The bills protect existing local nondiscrimination orders that have been passed by cities and chambers of commerce to attract jobs and investment.

 

An inconsistent patchwork of employment regulations creates massive compliance issues and bureaucratic hurdles for employers of all sizes that operate in multiple jurisdictions across the state, in addition to unnecessary confusion for their employees. Streamlined, statewide employment regulations allow job creators to spend less time fighting through a web of red tape—including differing and multiplying local policies, paperwork, city administrators, penalties, fines, employee handbooks and more—and more time investing in their employees, their businesses and their communities.

 

Texans overwhelmingly support consistent employment regulations. In a recent poll, 63 percent of Texans said they do not want to enact a patchwork of local regulations by allowing cities to regulate private employment practices, and 76 percent said the Legislature should make sure laws and regulations are uniform across the state. Further, 86 percent of Republicans, 73 percent of Democrats and 69 percent of Independents agreed that labor regulations should not vary by city, creating confusion and compliance issues for employers and employees.

 

ASSET is a non-profit coalition of job creation organizations that fights for policies that fuel the engines of our economy and protect Texas businesses from invasive and burdensome government regulations. ASSET collectively represents millions of employers and employees in the Lone Star State who believe employment and business operational decisions are best left to private employers, not government. For more information, please visit www.assettexas.com.

President and CEO Jeff Moseley Joins North Texas Commission Board of Directors

10/3/2018

 The Texas Association of Business (TAB), the voice for public policy issues affecting business in Texas, announces the appointment of president and CEO Jeff Moseley to the North Texas Commission (NTC) Board of Directors.

 

“I had the opportunity to work side-by-side with Jeff at TAB and he is a crusader each and every day for Texas businesses and has a great understanding and appreciation of North Texas after spending many years in Denton County as an elected official,” said Chris Wallace, president and CEO, NTC. “We look forward to having Jeff on our board and continuing NTC’s momentum.”

 

The NTC is a public-private partnership dedicated to advancing the vibrancy of the North Texas region. With the shared goal of fostering a better business climate and building a strong workforce in the North Texas region and the entire state, TAB is proud to partner with an organization that has similar priorities.

 

“It is an honor and a privilege to join the NTC’s Board of Directors,” said Moseley. “As the voice of public policy for the state, TAB believes it’s critical to build strong relationships with different regions in Texas and this board appointment is a great opportunity to do just that.  I look forward to working with NTC and continuing to fight for creating jobs and paychecks for Texas.”

 

Moseley has four decades of public and private sector experience, particularly in the transportation industry and economic development.   He starts serving on the NTC Board of Directors in October.

 

About the North Texas Commission

Established in 1971, the North Texas Commission is a regional consortium of businesses, cities, counties, chambers of commerce, economic development entities and higher education institutions in the North Texas Region. The North Texas Commission improves the economic vitality, infrastructure and lifestyle of North Texas by marketing the region, promoting collaboration and advocating on critical federal and state issues.

TXBIZ PAC Release List of General Election Legislative Endorsements

9/18/2018

AUSTIN, TX (September 18, 2018) – Today, TXBIZ PAC, the political action committee representing the Texas Association of Business, released its list of endorsements for legislative candidates and incumbents for the general election. TXBIZ PAC supports officeholders and nominees who are committed to improving the business environment in the state and will remain focused on the real issues impacting Texas business and business owners.  


“The Texas Association of Business State PAC Board chose to support the candidates willing to focus next session on the critical issues facing Texas – investment in transportation and infrastructure, innovation in manufacturing technology, economic development, education and job creation,” said TXBIZ PAC Chairman Brett Graham. “We look forward to working with these leaders in January.”

Below, the complete list of TXBIZ PAC legislative endorsements: 

• Senator Robert Nichols, SD 3

• Senator Charles Schwertner, SD 5

• Senator Paul Bettencourt, SD 7

• Nominee Angela Paxton, SD 8

• Senator Kelly Hancock, SD 9

• Senator Joan Huffman, SD 17

• Senator Donna Campbell, SD 25

• Senator Kel Seliger, SD 31  

• Representative Gary VanDeaver, HD 1

• Representative Dan Flynn, HD 2

• Representative Cecil Bell, HD 3

• Nominee Keith Bell, HD 4

• Representative Cole Hefner, HD 5

• Nominee Cody Harris, HD 8

• Representative Chris Paddie, HD 9

• Representative John Wray, HD 10

• Representative Travis Clardy, HD 11

• Representative Kyle Kacal, HD 12

• Representative John Raney, HD 14

• Nominee Steve Toth, HD 15

• Representative Will Metcalf, HD 16

• Representative John Cyrier, HD 17

• Representative Ernest Bailes, HD 18

• Representative James White, HD 19 

• Representative Dade Phelan, HD 21

• Nominee Mayes Middleton, HD 23

• Representative Greg Bonnen, HD 24

• Representative Dennis Bonnen, HD 25

• Representative Rick Miller, HD 26

• Representative John Zerwas, HD 28

• Representative Ed Thompson, HD 29

• Representative Geanie Morrison, HD 30

• Representative Ryan Guillen, HD 31

• Representative Todd Hunter, HD 32

• Representative Justin Holland, HD 33

• Representative Oscar Longoria, HD 35

• Representative J.M. Lozano, HD 43

• Representative John Kuempel, HD 44

• Representative Paul Workman, HD 47

• Nominee Cynthia Flores, HD 52

• Representative Hugh Shine, HD 55

• Representative Doc Anderson, HD 56

• Representative Trent Ashby, HD 57

• Representative DeWayne Burns, HD 58

• Representative J.D. Sheffield, HD 59

• Representative Phil King, HD 61

• Nominee Reggie Smith, HD 62  

• Representative Tan Parker, HD 63 

• Representative Lynn Stucky, HD 64

• Representative Ron Simmons, HD 65

• Representative Drew Springer, HD 68

• Representative Stan Lambert, HD 71

• Representative Drew Darby, HD 72

• Representative Brooks Landgraf, HD 81

• Representative Tom Craddick, HD 82

• Representative John Frullo, HD 84

• Representative Phil Stephenson, HD 85

• Representative John Smithee, HD 86

• Representative Four Price, HD 87

• Representative Ken King, HD 88

• Nominee Candy Noble, HD 89

• Representative Craig Goldman, HD 97

• Representative Giovanni Capriglione, HD 98

• Representative Charlie Geren, HD 99

• Representative Linda Koop, HD 102

• Representative Rodney Anderson, HD 105 
• Representative Morgan Meyer, HD 108

• Representative Angie Chen Button, HD 112

• Nominee John Turner, HD 114

• Nominee Julie Johnson, HD 115

• Nominee Steve Allison, HD 121  

• Representative Lyle Larson, HD 122

• Nominee Sam Harless, HD 126

• Representative Dan Huberty, HD 127

• Representative Dennis Paul, HD 129

• Representative Mike Schofield, HD 132

• Representative Jim Murphy, HD 133

• Representative Sarah Davis, HD 134

• Representative Gary Elkins, HD 135

• Representative Tony Dale, HD 136

• Representative Dwayne Bohac, HD 138

• Representative Jarvis Johnson, HD 139

• Representative Shawn Thierry, HD 146

TAB Statement on US Mexico Trade Agreement

8/27/2018

“Today the Trump Administration announced the framework of a US-Mexico Trade Agreement that will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. Texas’ trade partnership with Mexico creates 387,000 jobs and about $173 billion worth of goods exchanged between our two economies every year.  These figures are a result of the 540 percent growth in Texas-Mexico trade since NAFTA was signed in 1994.

 

As Texas employers and leaders we would like to congratulate the administration for their hard work in setting the stage for a renewal of the original NAFTA agreement for the 21st Century. We also would like to urge the Administration to continue to work with Canadian officials to solidify their support for the full renewal of a trilateral agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada. We appreciate the continued great work of the Texas Congressional Delegation, led by Senate Finance Trade Subcommittee Chairman John Cornyn and House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady. We know they will do all they can to ensure a fair deal for Texas businesses.

 

Although there is still work to do, we are hopeful the Administration will finalize this critical agreement with our top trading partner. We look forward to continuing to work with the United States Trade Representative and the Department of Commerce to expand all trading opportunities for Texas business with Mexico, Canada and beyond.”

Statement from Jeff Moseley, President and CEO, Texas Association of Business on COA ruling on PSL lawsuit

8/20/2018

“This is a huge victory for small business owners who know better than anyone how to hire and care for their workers. As the lead co-plaintiff in the lawsuit against the City of Austin’s overreaching paid sick leave ordinance, Texas Association of Business’ (TAB) focus is on jobs and paychecks. The 3rd Court of Appeals ruling to temporarily block the ordinance is a great step forward for Texas businesses.  The City of Austin should respect the Court’s ruling and stand down on all efforts to implement the ordinance, including outreach to businesses and public forums until the appeal process concludes.

This lawsuit is not about the implementation of the paid sick leave policy, but about local officials ignoring the economic concerns of small businesses, which are the heart of our state’s economy.  When local governments overstep their power with detrimental ordinances that are bad for business and our state’s economy, TAB must take action. We look forward to continuing this fight against overreaching mandates that negatively impact our business community.”

Government Relations Professional and Corporate Attorney Joins Texas Association of Business (TAB)

6/19/2018

James Hines Named Senior Vice President of Advocacy & General Counsel

 

Texas Association of Business (TAB) the voice on public policy issues affecting Texas business, has hired former corporate attorney and government affairs veteran, James Hines, as the new senior vice president of advocacy and in-house general counsel. 

 

In this role, Hines will be responsible for directing TAB's strategic policy and political engagement both in Texas and D.C. and will also serve as the association’s in-house general counsel and lead of TAB’s Litigation center.  

 

“James has tremendous insight and experience with the regulatory and legislative process across all industry sectors. He will be a strong advocate for Texas business,” said Jeff Moseley, CEO, Texas Association of Business.” TAB represents more than 4,000 members with 200 local chamber partners and $8 billion annually in business. James’s experience at the state and national level will further position TAB as the leading voice in Texas and Washington on behalf of Texas businesses, the backbone of our state’s economy.”

 

Hines most recently served as Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs for Copart which is headquartered in Dallas and operates at more than 200 locations in 11 countries.  In this role, he oversaw all state and federal government and regulatory affairs in the U.S.  

 

Early on in his career he also worked for Verizon and MCI in government affairs roles and practiced law and lobbied at a firm in the private sector.  Hines’ Capitol experience began when he worked for Governor George W. Bush as Ethics Advisor, Public Information Officer and Assistant General Counsel.

 

“I have a great respect for TAB and the mission,” Hines said. “The association continues to have a strong focus on advocacy, political engagement and competitiveness. I will work hard to keep government policy actions in-line with TAB’s bottom line of jobs and paychecks.”

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