The Texas Legislature only meets for six months every-other year in a regular session to update our state’s laws. Our next session lasts from January 10, 2023, to May 29, 2023, giving us a narrow opportunity to pass bills that will help restaurants and stop or fix bills that will hurt restaurants. We are ready to take full advantage of this opportunity thanks to a strong agenda and a bipartisan coalition of partners.
To protect and advance the entire industry—from single-unit, family-run restaurants and food trucks to the largest chains and franchisees—we have established the following agenda for the legislative session:
- Taxes – We support tax policies, including property tax relief, that will fuel economic growth while maintaining important government services.
- Government Regulation – We advocate for a reasonable, fair, and predictable regulatory environment that balances public health and welfare with innovation and entrepreneurism.
- Economic Growth – Since Texas’ budget surplus is largely a product of our strong economy, we believe Texas should reinvest in our economy through initiatives like tax relief; infrastructure, utility, and public safety enhancements; tourism promotion; workforce and education needs; and affordability.
- Workforce Development – We support efforts to strengthen the workforce pipeline and help restaurants attract and retain employees—including students, parents, veterans, immigrants, and people exiting the criminal justice system.
- Alcohol – We support alcohol regulations that promote safety and fair market competition.
- Unemployment Insurance – We support efforts to improve the unemployment insurance system; we also support additional funding to ensure all employers are held harmless from COVID-19 layoffs.
- Access to Capital – We support proposals that will help new and existing restaurants obtain capital and affordable credit, particularly after a disaster.
- Employee Wellbeing – We support policies that will help restaurants provide benefits to their team members, including policies that improve the flexibility, availability, and affordability of health insurance. We also support proposals that will help restaurant employees access affordable childcare, housing, and other essential services.
- Food Ecosystem – With over 1,000 people moving to Texas every day and nearly 4 million Texans struggling with hunger, we advocate for policies that will strengthen Texas’ food ecosystem and help restaurants contribute to food security.
- Unfair Litigation – We support proposals that will protect restaurants from unfair or frivolous lawsuits and litigation costs. We also support efforts to make the judicial system more efficient.
Learn more about how you can get involved and help us advance this agenda here.
At the same time that we focus on the state’s legislative session, we also remain deeply engaged on local and federal issues. Lawmakers and regulators are constantly proposing changes that could impact Texas restaurants, and so our advocacy efforts must remain constant as well.
Local - With 254 counties and thousands of cities, there’s a lot to track at the local level. We monitor and engage on restaurants’ behalf when proposals come up regarding many issues including:
- Noise and amplified sound ordinances
- Permitting processes and fees
- Patio and parking rules
- Temporary events and catering restrictions
- Mobile food unit regulations
- Recycling and waste rules
- Public safety
Federal – We work closely with our partners—the National Restaurant Association and our 52 sister state restaurant associations from across the US—to influence federal policy. By working together, we have tremendous influence in our nation’s capital. Our current federal priorities include:
If you have any questions or feedback on our local advocacy work, please reach out to your region’s executive director.
If you have any questions or feedback on our state or federal advocacy work, please reach out to Kelsey Erickson Streufert, TRA’s Chief Public Affairs Officer.
Please also visit www.restaurantsact.com to learn more about the work we do with the National Restaurant Association and our 52 sister state restaurant associations.