Speaker Phelan announces additional Texas House priorities for 88th Legislature on economic and workforce development

TX house of representatives seal

Austin, Texas — Speaker of the Texas House Dade Phelan announced today additional key legislative priorities of the chamber that are aimed at defending the state’s economic growth over the past two years and creating an opportunity for even more development as population continues to expand at a rapid pace.


The following bills, which make up the Texas House’s broader legislative priorities package for the 88th Texas Legislature, will be filed today:


House Bill 5 by Rep. Todd Hunter
House Bill 8 by Rep. Gary VanDeaver
House Bill 19 by Rep. Andrew Murr

House Bill 5 by Representative Hunter, also known as the Texas Jobs & Security Act, would provide Texas with a critical economic development tool to create additional jobs, investments and tax revenue, keeping the state competitive in drawing businesses to relocate or expand here. Under House Bill 5, the incentives would be targeted and temporary in attracting large-scale, capital-intensive projects related to the manufacturing, national security and energy infrastructure industries. Texas taxpayers would also have transparency into how those state incentive dollars are used, the number of jobs created and the full economic impact of such projects on communities.


House Bill 8 by Representative VanDeaver would establish a new funding model for community colleges in Texas that recognizes and rewards such institutions for the important role they play with associate degrees, non-credit workforce education programs and other credentials of value that will be required in more than 60% of jobs in the state over the next decade. House Bill 8 would also create a new scholarship program, increasing the opportunity for economically disadvantaged high school students to enroll in dual credit courses, and expand access to higher education opportunities across the state by creating new shared services for institutions through the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, enabling colleges to expand their range of offered academic and workforce programs.


House Bill 19 by Representative Murr would create a business court system in Texas, strengthening the state’s already strong pro-business reputation that has driven economic and job growth to the state. A specialized court system for complex business cases in the state would establish a new avenue for those companies to solve their legal matters in a fair, streamlined and consistent manner.


“We have a good thing going here in Texas, and I thank Representatives Hunter, VanDeaver and Murr for authoring measures that seek to continue that trend line in our state,” Speaker Phelan said. “As Texas continues to grow and attract even more business that creates jobs and spurs local economies, our state must ensure that we have the kinds of tools to keep us competitive with others on a national and global scale.”


“With so much job growth happening in our state, it’s also important that we have the necessary avenues that foster workforce development to keep up with demand,” Speaker Phelan added. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Texas House on discussing these three legislative proposals in the coming weeks and passing them out of our chamber.”


Additional legislative priorities of the Texas House will be announced in the coming days.