Advocacy

Legislative Priorities for the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce:

Business / Economic Development

The Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the Lufkin/Angelina County Economic Development Partnership, understands that a strong economy is crucial to the continued advancement of our region. The Chamber also supports local control and flexibility in the use of tax abatements, tax increment financing, reinvestment zones and other incentives to promote economic development and ensure diversity in our job creation.

Also, we will:

  • Support continued use of locally approved 1/8 cent sales tax collected by cities to fund economic development efforts in its current form and oppose legislation that will restrict the current economic development tools available to local governments
  • Support and increase funding for the Small Business Development Center at Angelina College
  • Oppose any changes to current annexation laws and new property tax limitations for local governments
  • Support the development of small business start-ups with an emphasis on companies that sell products and/or services outside Angelina County.
  • Support measures that give municipalities local control and the flexibility to meet the needs of their community
  • Support criteria that rewards local businesses in the procurement process with governmental agencies
  • Support the continued use of the Hotel Occupancy Tax as a local funding source for tourism

Education

The Chamber strongly believes, and an abundance of evidence proves, that the continuum that leads to a skilled, highly qualified workforce begins with the implementation of high-quality early education programs. Following early education, students move through K-12, onto trade schools or college. There are many opportunities for students to become productive contributors to the region’s economic development and overall community.

Also, we will:

  • Support a funding solution for public education.
  • Support funding for community colleges offering dual credit courses
  • Oppose any unfunded mandates on our public schools
  • Support partnerships between higher education institutions, public school districts and workforce that promote postsecondary readiness, including state funding for non-credit continuing education through duel enrolment
  • Oppose any state voucher plan, tax credits, tuition reimbursements, or any program that diverts public tax dollars to private entities with little or no academic or financial accountability to the state, taxpayers, or local communities. 
  • Support a funding model for community colleges that considers the variances in resources available to individual community colleges
  • Support measures that give school districts local control and the flexibility to meet the needs of their students.
  • Increase productivity potential of young people and adults through education and skills training in alignment with employee and market needs. 
  • Ensure skills training is available to replace retiring or laid-off workers and provide workers for new businesses that are relocating, expanding, or starting up.  Employers should help educators and employees understand and respond to skill sets required for advancement.

Healthcare

The changes to the Affordable Care Act are expected to continue. The quality, cost and accessibility of healthcare services provided to businesses and residents continue to be some of the most important public policy issues for the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce. We will monitor healthcare issues to assist in reducing the uninsured population while limiting the cost of insurance to businesses.

Also, we will:

  • Support continued funding for the State Support Living Center in Lufkin
  • Support state funding for additional medical residencies
  • Support funding for the Trauma Care Network

Transportation/Mobility/Infrastructure

The Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce is committed to improving Texas infrastructure and keeping our roads capable of supporting our prosperous state. Whether it’s ensuring a beneficial design for the I-69 section through Lufkin or extended highways, the Chamber is the catalyst for public projects on the state, federal, and local stage. These projects are often decades in the making and our organization is committed to the development and improvement of roads in the Lufkin region.

Also, we will:

  • Support funding for transportation projects that interconnect rural areas to interstates
  • Support the I-69 relief route around Diboll
  • Support an overpass at US 59 and FM 819

Natural Resources

Our region is centered with access to water and must ensure that the use of the water benefits our community.   We also believe in identifying and preserving the natural resources, such as forested open spaces, creeks, rivers, and aquifers, which freely provide the clean air and water fundamental to economic growth.

Also, we will:

  • Support programs that ensure local control in communities with surplus water
  • Support the right of capture and priority system for water rights that currently exists
  • Support Junior Water rights as they currently exist

 

Propositions supported by the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce