Chambers gear for Tarrant County Days in Austin

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The Texas flag flying proud at our state’s Capitol.

A North Texas wave of advocacy will roll into Austin and the 83rd Legislature Feb. 6-7 when Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce members, including those in the Chamber’s Vision Fort Worth program for young professionals (YPs), arrive for Tarrant County Days at The Capitol.

A total of 24 Tarrant County chambers will participate in this bi-annual trip that creates face time with the local legislative delegation to examine high-stakes agendas. Deadline to register for the trip is today (Jan. 25). Registration details are in the calendar of events at left.

Host sponsors for all events are Devon Energy, BNSF Railway, Lockheed Martin and Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD).

“The natural gas industry is a significant economic driver in the North Texas region, so it is important that we know our elected representatives,” said Jay Ewing, Devon’s manager of Completions & Construction for North Texas. “We look forward to discussing regional issues with (our delegation) and answering questions about our industry and the role it plays in the communities they represent.”

Legislators will be honored Feb. 6 at an evening reception at the DoubleTree Suites in  Austin. A breakfast the next morning at the Austin Club will honor members of the Fort Worth and Tarrant County delegation. Visits to the officials’ Capitol offices will follow.

Vision Fort Worth YPs have chartered a bus to Austin, leaving at 8:30 a.m. from the Fort Worth Club parking lot downtown and returning late that evening. Their day will include a luncheon with Evan Smith, CEO and editor-in-chief of the Texas Tribune, a tour of the Capitol and the evening reception with all the Chambers.

The 83rd session began with encouraging news from State Comptroller Susan Combs. She said legislators will have $101.4 billion for general purpose spending and $11.8 billion in the Rainy Day Fund.

Addressing the state’s future water needs will be one of the 83rd Legislature’s top priorities, said TRWD Community and Government Relations Director Linda Christie.

“The decisions made during this session will have a profound impact on our ability to sustain the region’s growth and economic prosperity now and in the future,” Christie said.

“With the area’s population expected to double by 2060, we have to be a part of those discussions now to ensure our customers can meet those expected demands. The Legislature has to find a way to adequately fund the State’s Water Plan so that we can address the expected growth and minimize the economic impact of future droughts, which are a part of life here in Texas.”

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