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Visit San Antonio: Legislative Affairs, January 2019

Session kicked off on Jan. 8 with much pomp and circumstance. Dennis Bonnen was unanimously voted in as the new Speaker of the House. A conciliatory atmosphere was notable at the Capitol, as lawmakers agreed on their top priorities: reform of public education funding, property taxes, school safety and Hurricane Harvey recovery.

Visit San Antonio partnered with H-E-B, San Antonio Mobility Coalition, Port San Antonio, Dr. Alex Kenton, KGB Texas, San Antonio Water System, VIA Transit, Andrade Van de Putte and the Spurs to host a San Antonio reception after the swearing-in. Visit San Antonio board members Cristina Aldrete and Carl Lum attended, as did representatives Allison, Gervin-Hawkins, Larson and Minjarez and senators Zaffirini and Alvarado.

As we regularly monitor bills filed in this session, we’ve had a few so far that will impact our industry. Those include: removal of the District of Innovation exemption for school start date, post-Labor Day school start date, mandatory minimum-wage requirements, predictive scheduling and abolishing the movie, film and television office in the Office of Tourism and Economic Development. We continue to monitor bills filed on a daily basis, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Government Relations team for more information.

Although session has convened, we still have a critical election coming up. After the death of Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo, Representative Justin Rodriguez (D-125) was appointed to his position, leaving the State Representative seat open. The Governor has called a Special Election for House District 125 for Feb. 12.

Current candidates who have indicated they will run for the seat are former city councilman and San Antonio Mobility Coalition chairman Ray Lopez, SAISD employee Coda Rayo-Garza and former Leon Valley councilmember Art Reyna.

If you live in House District 125, we strongly encourage you to cast your vote Feb. 12.

We are in full swing preparations for the coming SA to DC trip. This annual event is designed to bring our issues directly to our elected officials in Washington, D.C., but is also a great way to directly network with local community and business leaders. We highly encourage you to attend and be a part of the hospitality and tourism issues team.