The East Parker County Chamber of Commerce went to Austin to meet with State Rep. Phil King and Sen. Pat Fallon May 14, to discuss Senate Bill 29. The chamber’s Governmental Affairs representative Kelli Stumbo and Aledo ISD Education Foundation Director and Chamber Board Member Shawn Callaway communicated their opposition to this bill.
How the bill was written severely limited the ability of school districts, municipalities, and counties to advocate for their communities, tax payers, students, and employees, the chamber argued, and that the way SB29 was written would keep school districts and municipalities from being dues paying members of a chamber of commerce if the chamber was a member of an organization that had a lobbyist on staff. The chamber delegates expressed how critical it is for these groups to have a strong relationship with local community groups in order to support and better our community. Losing these groups as members would have a negative impact on the chambers and other nonprofits financially, they argued.
After explaining the consequences, King drafted an amendment so chambers in the State of Texas would not be affected if SB29 passed.
“We would like to thank Rep. King for meeting with the chamber and for quickly responding to this issue,” President and CEO of the East Parker County Chamber of Commerce Lisa Flowers said. “The majority of chambers in Texas are members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Association Chamber of Commerce Executives, Texas Association of Business, Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives and/or North Texas Commission, all of which have a lobbyist on staff.
“On Monday, May 20, the bill was presented to the House for a vote and failed. This is a huge win for the Chambers of Commerce across the state of Texas.”