Visit San Antonio: Government Relations, June 2021
President Joe Biden, returning from his first trip abroad, signed into law a bill creating a federal holiday to commemorate “Juneteenth,” the day marking the end of slavery in Texas. Juneteenth has an important place in Texas’ history. On Jan. 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln. On June 19, 1865, about two months after the Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Va., Gordon Granger, a Union general, arrived in Galveston to inform enslaved African-Americans of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended.
President Biden and his administration continue to work with Congress on his “Build Back America Agenda” containing:
- The American Families Plan
- Make education more affordable and expand opportunity.
- Provide economic security for families.
- Expand tax credits that help workers and families.
- The American Jobs Plan
- Fix highways; rebuild bridges; and upgrade ports, airports and transit centers.
- Rebuild clean drinking water infrastructure, a renewed electric grid and high-speed broadband to all Americans.
- Modernize homes, commercial buildings, schools and federal buildings.
- Create caregiving jobs and raise wages and benefits for essential home care workers.
- Revitalize manufacturing, ensure products are made in America, and invest in innovation.
- Create good-paying union jobs and train Americans for jobs of the future.
- The American Rescue Plan
- Provides direct relief to Americans.
- Efforts to contain COVID-19.
- Help provide relief to the U.S. economy.
On June 15, the U.S. Travel Association, in partnership with Tourism Economics, released an analysis indicating that a full recovery for business travel will not be realized until 2024. On June 16, U.S. Travel launched a new initiative called, “Let’s Meet There,” to promote the full and safe reopening of the travel business sector.
The Government Relations Team continues to monitor federal issues and any impacts they may have on the hospitality industry.
On May 31, the 87th State Regular Session completed its 140-day session. A total of 9,966 bills and resolutions were introduced in both the House and Senate chambers and 2,958 completed the entire legislative process, or 30 percent. Visit San Antonio monitored approximately 300 bills since the beginning of the Regular Session. A summary of the 87th Regular Session and a look ahead for additional activity from the State Legislature can be found on the following 87Th Session Summary document.
With the results of the June 5 run-off elections finalized, San Antonio now has a full City Council:
- Mayor Ron Nirenberg*
- Mario Bravo – District 1
- Jalen McKee-Rodriguez – District 2
- Phyliss Viagran – District 3
- Dr. Adriana Rocha-Garcia* – District 4
- Terri Castillo – District 5
- Melissa Cabello Havrda* – District 6
- Ana Sandoval* – District 7
- Manny Pelaez* – District 8
- John Courage* – District 9
- Clayton Perry* – District 10
(Incumbents = *)
As June comes to a close, new council members are filling staff positions and learning the organization and duties of the various city departments. During July, City Council will be in recess. This period of time kicks off the city’s budget development process for fiscal year 2021, which begins Oct. 1.
As City Council begins to review and develop their budget priorities, the Visit San Antonio Government Relation Team will be engaged with the city to determine if there will be any programs and/or funding opportunities. In particular, this will include any federal COVID-19 relief funds available to help the San Antonio regional hospitality industry recovery from the negative economic impacts experienced during the pandemic.