News

The 2019 TWA Fly-In Was a Success

By Michele Schueler on May 01, 2019 at 06:46 PM in Announcements, From the Assistant Association Manager

The 2019 TWA Fly-In Was a Success

On Tuesday, April 16th, TWA members gathered in our state’s capital to advocate for the Texas warehouse industry. The 2019 Legislative Roundup marked the first time in several sessions that warehouse advocacy has made it to Austin, and we definitely came prepared! Our mission included:

The program commenced the previous day at Iron Works Barbecue with an evening of catching up, camaraderie, and an intimate discussion of issues facing members. The next morning, the group headed over to the Capitol, where we got a legislative debriefing by Jessica Attas, vice president of public policy at the Greater Waco Chamber. She walked us through the status of our agenda items under debate in Austin and spearheaded our group’s discussion on other specific sticking points to a warehouse in the Lone Star State.  One member noted laws increasing the minimum wage and the inability to find qualified temp help as his most pressing issues. Another noted that mandated benefits like the ones by Austin, Dallas, and other local jurisdictions threaten to add upwards of 10% to his labor costs, plus compliance. Attas agreed that these benefit ordinances affect all businesses across Texas and summed up our sentiment well, telling the group that the government ought to encourage business owners to create real jobs, not accounting positions needed to track PTO.

The 2019 TWA Fly-In Was a Success

We further discussed potential issues down the road that warehouseman will need to pay special attention to in the future. As the state debates property tax reform this session and simultaneously looks to increase education funding, Attas cautioned us that we must remain attentive to legislator’s efforts to look for alternative revenue sources. One potential concern of our industry would be the removal of the sales tax exemption for warehouse services. Such a move would have a terrible effect on state the warehouse industry, forcing many of them to move to Oklahoma or Louisiana. While there is no concrete proposal to do this now, this possibility demonstrates the need for an active industry and association government affairs effort and for member warehouses to continue to be engaged.

After our debriefing, we split into two groups to visit legislators of both parties:

  • Phillip Cortez (D-San Antonio)
  • Peter Flores (R-Pleasanton)
  • John Wray (R-Waxahachie)
  • Cesar Blanco (D-El Paso)
  • Kyle Kacal (R-College Station)
  • Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury)
  • Royce West (D-Dallas)
  • Alex Dominguez (D-Brownsville)
  • Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe)
  • Eric Johnson (D-Dallas)
  • Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo)
  • Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills)
  • Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville) 

The meetings were extremely productive, as the TWA introduced the industry, our work, and concerns to the very offices tasked with proposing and passing legislation that impacts how we operate every single day. Members left Austin feeling accomplished, having not only raised our profile as individual warehouseman to policy makers, but as representatives of the entire industry in our home state.