Government Relations

Overview


Mission

The mission of the Government Relations Division is to be the primary advocate for business interests in the El Paso area through public policy, promoting economic growth and enhancement of the tax base. Our advocacy efforts include pursuing a pro-business public policy and a regulatory climate supportive of business growth, economic viability and sustainability for all types and sizes of businesses in the El Paso area and supporting and synchronizing community efforts in various areas such as military, healthcare, education, and workforce development to achieve these objectives.

Infrastructure and Development


Mission To educate the business community on infrastructure and development issues pertaining to the maintenance of existing assets and plans for growth and advocate for realistic and sustainable policy to governmental entities where appropriate.

 

Transportation


Mission: To promote and advocate for continued development of a regional transportation plan that will serve community’s needs and support future growth.

Healthcare


Mission: Through a collaborative effort of the healthcare sector and all relative entities, identify local healthcare issues of greatest concern and facilitate a cohesive and constructive community-wide healthcare advocacy effort of these issues at the local, state and federal levels, in addition to developing innovative programs to meet the healthcare needs of the community. .

Advocacy


Review of the 84th Legislative Session - This report is a detailed description of the Chamber's advocacy efforts throughout the 84th Legislative Session.

Resources

Recent Resolutions and Letters:

 

 

Legislative Agendas


Chamber Board of Directors Approves 2017 State Legislative Agenda
As 2017 approaches, every agency and organization across the state has been gearing up for the upcoming legislative session and the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce is no different. For several months the Chamber has been meeting with stakeholders and elected officials to identify issues related to our community, which can be addressed during the legislative session.   

The result of extensive research and thorough analysis, along with the input of the El Paso community, helped the Chamber of Commerce create its Legislative Agenda for the 85th Legislative Session, which was approved by the Governing Board of the Chamber on October 25th. The agenda addresses topics such as Economic Development, Military, Public Education and Workforce, and Higher Education, and many more. Each one of these topics is of great importance to our community as they insure our success, continued growth and prepare the way for our future generation. The Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce will support legislation that will further enhance those areas and/or mend current issues. For reference or to find out the stand the Chamber is taking on certain issues, please find attached our Legislative Agenda.

Previous Agendas

Legislative Process


How does a bill originate?

A legislator may draft legislation individually or acquire the services of professional staff of the Texas Legislative Council or the engrossing and enrolling department of the senate. Organizations or individuals with a particular interest on a matter may also prepare legislation. The bill is the most common type of legislative document and is the sole means by which laws may be ratified, amended, or repealed. A bill may originate as the idea of a single legislator or may grow out of the recommendations of a standing or special committee of the legislature that has conducted interim studies on issues affecting specific legislation.

Reference:  http://www.tlc.state.tx.us/gtli/legproc/process_bill.html

How is a bill introduced?

A bill may be introduced by any member of the legislature in the member’s own chamber, and the steps a bill goes through in each chamber are essentially the same. A bill passed by one chamber must proceed to the other for passage before the governor decides to approve or veto it.
To introduce a bill in the house of representatives/senate, a state representative/senator must file the required number of copies of the bill with the chief clerk of the house/secretary of the senate, who sequentially numbers each bill in the order in which it is received. Both house and senate rules permit unlimited introduction of bills during the first 60 calendar days of each regular legislative session. After the 60-day period, the introduction of any bill into these chambers­---other than a local bill or a bill relating to a matter declared by the governor to be an emergency--- requires the consent of at least four-fifths of those members present and voting.

Reference: http://www.tlc.state.tx.us/gtli/legproc/process_intro.html

What are committees?

In order to ease and reduce the volume of work confronting legislators each session to ensure thoughtful deliberation on all proposed measures, the basic business in both chambers is carried out according to the committee system. Committees are created according to the rules of procedure of the respective chambers to consider introduced bills and to advise on their disposition. A large number of bills are never reported out of committee. Therefore, committee action is the first crucial step in the process by which a bill becomes law.
All committee business on a bill is required to be conducted in open meetings. No official action or vote may be taken except in a meeting that is open to the public.  

Reference: http://www.tlc.state.tx.us/gtli/legproc/process_role.html
http://www.tlc.state.tx.us/gtli/legproc/process_comproc.html

How does the house function?

The house rules provide for four types of printed calendars:

      • The Daily House Calendar: “Contains a list of new bills and resolutions scheduled by the Committee on Calendars for consideration by the house and which must be distributed to the members 36 hours before the house may consider those measures.”
      • The Supplemental House Calendar: “Must be distributed two hours before the house convenes and which may contain measures passed to third reading on the previous day; measures on the Daily House Calendar for a previous day that were not reached for consideration; measures on the Daily House Calendar for the current day; postponed business from a previous day; and notice to call from the table a measure laid on the table subject to call on a previous day.”
      • The Local, Consent, and Resolutions Calendar: “Must be distributed to the members 48 hours before the listed measures may be considered and which contains a list of local or noncontroversial bills scheduled by the Committee on Local and Consent Calendars for consideration by the house.”
      • The Congratulatory and Memorial Calendar: “Must be distributed 24 hours before those measures may be considered and which contains a list of congratulatory and memorial resolutions scheduled by the Committee on Rules and Resolutions for consideration by the house.”

Reference: http://www.tlc.state.tx.us/gtli/legproc/process_housecal.html

How does the senate function?

The senate agenda includes the following information:

      • notice of intent, giving the number, author or sponsor, and short caption for each measure that may be considered during the day’s session;
      • list of senate bills returned from the house with amendments;
      • status of bills in conference committees, giving a short caption and brief history of the action on the bills;
      • local and uncontested bills calendar;
      • gubernatorial appointments to boards and commissions that have been reported favorably from the Senate Committee on Nominations and are awaiting confirmation by the senate;
      • committee hearings scheduled, including short captions for all measures scheduled to be considered by the committees;
      • regular order of business, listing all bills and resolutions that have been reported favorably from committees in the order in which they were reported to the senate;
      • miscellaneous announcements;
      • senate floor action, giving the numbers and short captions for and action taken on all measures brought up for consideration during the previous legislative day;
      • senate committee action, giving the same information for all measures considered by committees on the previous day; and
      • morning call, which includes senate and house bills and resolutions on first reading and referral to committee, the introduction and consideration of memorial and congratulatory resolutions, messages and executive communications, and other motions.

 Reference: http://www.tlc.state.tx.us/gtli/legproc/process_senagenda.html

What transpires when a bill is on a chamber floor?

The first floor consideration of a bill occurs on its second reading. After it is read the second time, by caption only, the measure is subject to debate and amendment by the entire membership of the chamber. If no amendment is made, or if those proposed are disposed of, the final action on second reading of a bill in the original chamber is a vote on its passage to engrossment, or passage to third reading, if the bill is being considered in the opposite chamber. The bill then is laid before the body for a third reading and final passage. A bill may be amended again on third reading, but amendments at this stage require a two-thirds majority of the members present for adoption.
After a bill has been read a third time, a vote is taken for final passage. If the bill receives a simple majority vote, it is considered passed, and the chief clerk of the house or the secretary of the senate, as appropriate, confirms the bill’s final passage. When the bill is passed in the originating chamber, all corrections and amendments are incorporated into it, and an exact and accurate copy of the engrossed bill is prepared and sent to the opposite chamber for consideration.
Reference: http://www.tlc.state.tx.us/gtli/legproc/process_action.html

What happens when a bill returns to its originating chamber?

After a bill has passed through committee deliberation and three readings in the opposite chamber, the bill is sent back to the originating chamber. If no amendments were adopted by the second chamber, the bill is prepared for signing. The enrolled bill then is signed by both presiding officers in the presence of their respective chambers and sent to the governor.
When a bill that has been amended by the opposite chamber is returned to the originating chamber, the originating chamber must concur with all of the amendments made by the opposite chamber before the bill can be enrolled. If the originating chamber does not concur with some or all of the opposite chamber’s amendments, it may request the appointment of a conference committee to resolve the differences between the house and senate versions of the bill.
A conference committee is comprised of five members from each chamber to serve on the committee. A conference committee’s charge is limited to reconciling differences between the two chambers, and the committee, unless so directed, may not alter, amend, or omit text that is not in disagreement. After the committee has reached an agreement, a report is submitted to both chambers for approval or disapproval. Failure of the conference committee to reach agreement kills the measure.
References: http://www.tlc.state.tx.us/gtli/legproc/process_return.html
http://www.tlc.state.tx.us/gtli/legproc/process_concom.html

What occurs when a governor receives a bill passed by both chambers?

Upon receiving a bill, the governor has 10 days in which to sign the bill, veto it, or allow it to become law without a signature. If the governor elects to veto the bill and the legislature is still in session, the bill is returned to the bills original chamber with an explanation of the governor’s objections. A two-thirds majority in each chamber is required to override the veto. If the governor neither vetoes nor signs the bill within the allotted time, the bill becomes law. No law passed by the legislature, except the general appropriation act, shall take effect or go into force until ninety days after the adjournment of the session at which it was enacted, unless the Legislature shall, by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each House, otherwise direct.
References: http://www.tlc.state.tx.us/gtli/legproc/process_govact.html
http://www.tlc.state.tx.us/gtli/legproc/process_effdate.html

Legislative Resources:

Elected Officials


City Council Information
Mayor Oscar Leeser
Phone: 915-212-0021
E- mail address: [email protected]
District 1 Representative
Peter Svarzbein
Phone: 915-212-0001
E- mail address: [email protected]
Contact District 1
District 2 Representative
Jim Tolbert
Phone: 915-212-0002
E- mail address: [email protected]
Contact District 2
District 3 Representative
Emma Acosta
Phone: 915-212-0003
E- mail address: [email protected]
Contact District 3
District 4 Representative
Carl L. Robinson
Phone: 915-212-0004
E- mail address: [email protected]
Contact District 4
District 5 Representative
Dr. Michiel Noe
Phone: 915-212-0005
E- mail address: [email protected]
Contact District 4
District 6 Representative
Claudia Ordaz
Phone: 915-212-0006
E- mail address: [email protected]
Contact District 6
District 7 Representative
Lily Limón
Phone: 915-212-0007
E- mail address: [email protected]
Contact District 7
District 8 Representative
Cortney Niland
Phone: 915-212-0008
E- mail address: [email protected]
Contact District 8
Commissioner’s Court Contact Information
County Judge
Veronica Escobar
Phone: 915-546-2098
E- mail address: [email protected]
Website
Commissioner Pct. 1
Carlos Leon
Phone: 915-546-2014
E- mail address: [email protected]
Website
Commissioner Pct. 2
David Stout
Phone: 915-546-2111
E- mail address: [email protected]
Website
Commissioner Pct 3
Vincent Perez
Phone: 915-546-2144
E- mail address: [email protected]
Website
Commissioner Pct 4
Andrew Haggerty
Phone: 915-546-2044
E- mail address: [email protected]
Website
State Delegation Contact Information
District 79 Representative
Joe C. Pickett
Phone: 915-590-4349
E- mail address: [email protected]
Website
District 77 Representative
Lina Ortega
Phone: 512-463-0638
E- mail address: [email protected]
Website
District 75 Representative
Mary Gonzalez
(512) 463-0613
Website
District 76 Representative
César Blanco
Phone: (512) 463-0622
E- mail address: [email protected]
Website
District 78 Representative
Joe Moody
Phone: (915) 875-0150
Website
District 29
Senator José Rodríguez
Phone: 915-351-3500
E- mail address: [email protected]
Website
U.S. Congress Contact Information
Congressman Beto O’Rourke
202-225-4831
Website

Congressman Will Hurd
202-225-4511
Website

Senator John Cornyn
Phone: (210)224-7485
Website
Senator Ted Cruz
202-224-5922
Website

Intercity Visit

Sponsorships
Sponsorship opportunities are now available for corporate and community partners to support this exciting trip in 2018.  Click here for a list of available sponsorships.  For more information, please call us 915-534-0533.

About the Intercity Visit
The Intercity Visit is the Chamber’s community development initiative in which leaders explore best practices and lessons learned in a variety of timely topics identified as community priorities, and return home poised to effect change. Intercity Visits are scheduled biannually, with more than 40 leaders from the El Paso region participating.

Participants/Partners:
Intercity Visit participants include Chamber board members; economic development stakeholders; local, regional, state and federal elected officials; local and state board and commission members; nonprofit leadership representing community-based initiatives; and local and state experts in targeted topic areas.  The goal is to have a delegation that, upon return, can impact community change through what was learned on the visit.