El Paso Chamber Hosts Legislative Debrief

 In Advocating, News

The El Paso Chamber hosted Speaker Pro Tem Joe Moody this past Friday, the 11th of June, for a wrap up of the 87th Session of the Texas Legislature. The session, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the unexpected Texas freeze, had much in the way of gains for El Paso. Moody praised efforts by local businesses and organizations like the Chamber that showed resilience in the face of great challenges. Moody explained some of the efforts of the Legislature to provide assistance and guidance to businesses.

“The EPC has been a proud partner with Speaker Moody on the Week Ahead in Austin series; previewing legislative issues during the session, particularly on bills with implications for El Paso businesses,” explained David Jerome, President and CEO of the Chamber, adding, “as the foremost organization for business connecting and advocacy in El Paso, we feel like this partnership was tremendously beneficial and are grateful for the Speaker and the delegation.”

Speaker Moody also touched on an important advocacy issue for the Chamber and our community; transportation and the renovation of I-10. Moody explained that funds set for TxDOT should be capitalized on, particularly if those funds can improve infrastructure for the foreseeable future.

Friday’s recap also included a digital guest appearance by Representative Mary González; Dr. González joined the conversation to discuss education and equity issues. As a member of the Legislature’s Public Education committee and Appropriations committee, Dr. González explained that El Paso county did well on funding requests for education, but urged vigilance as students return to the classroom and confront gaps in learning from the pandemic. Both legislators confirmed a special session for redistricting will happen before the summer is out and a second special session may be called by the Governor to address several bills that did not get resolved during the regular session.

Joe Moody, first elected in 2013, is the representative for District 78, which encompasses the northern part of El Paso county. He currently serves as Speaker Pro Tempore of the Texas House, as Vice Chair of the Calendars Committee, and as a member of the committees on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence, and Redistricting. His legislative work largely involves issues regarding criminal justice reform, but has also touched on topics such as veterans issues, mental health, education, and equality.

Dr. Mary González is the Texas state representative for District 75, which includes the eastern part of El Paso County. First elected in 2012, González is serving her 4th term in the Texas House of Representatives, and resides on a number of different committees including the Public Education and Appropriations Committees, and is Vice Chair of the Local & Consent Calendars Committee. Throughout her four terms she has focused on issues such as public schooling, economic development, and agriculture.