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The Lumbermen’s Association of Texas (LAT), a non-profit trade association that represents the Texas lumber and building materials supply chain, has announced its 2023 Public Policy Priorities for the 88th Texas Legislature.
“Texas has an opportunity to invest in its future and continued economic prosperity,” said Meagan McCoy Jones, Co-Chair of LAT’s Legislative Committee and President & CEO at McCoy’s Building Supply. “LAT supports increasing the homestead exemption as one tool in addressing housing affordability and we stand ready to support the legislature in identifying other opportunities to lower taxes and create jobs.”
“LAT has a long history of engagement at the Texas Legislature,” said Tim Moore, Co-Chair of LAT’s Legislative Committee and General Counsel at Cassity Jones Building Materials. “When our members gather in Austin for the 2023 LAT Action Day, we will also ask legislators to invest in CDL training and licensing. The significant driver shortage impacts every LAT members ability to grow and to serve their customers today.”
According to the Texas Trucking Association, the shortage of CDL drivers continues to negatively impact the supply chain, with a projected 62,000 new job openings due to growth over the next 10 years. LAT’s 2023 Texas Policy Priorities include:
• With a historic budget surplus, Texas leaders have an opportunity to make investments in the state’s future. LAT supports an increase to Texans homestead exemption as it will impact the housing affordability crisis. LAT will also work with Texas business leaders to advocate for tax relief that helps our economy create jobs.
• A $103 million investment to expand CDL training and testing sites at Texas State Technical College’s Professional Driving Academy increasing capacity to approximately 2,400 drivers annually.
• Protect the Truck Litigation Reforms from 2021 and work with the Texas Department of Insurance on its monitoring of the impact of the reforms.
• Oppose efforts to weaken the state’s Mechanic’s and Materialmen’s Liens laws and the ability of Texas suppliers’ ability to get paid for materials sold.
• Support legislation that will allow Mobile Loaves & Fishes to expand its CommunityFirst! Village with the construction of 700 homes in Central Texas. For many years, the LAT membership has partnered with Mobile Loaves & Fishes in their mission to support our homeless neighbors and to serve as a model to address homelessness in other Texas communities. Our commitment to this work is emblematic of our members deep Texas roots and investment in the communities we serve.
LAT will host a virtual briefing on its priorities and information on how members can support this work on Wednesday, February 1st. This meeting will prepare the membership to participate in the LAT 2023 Action Day Presented by UFP Industries. Members interested in participating should contact LAT for additional information.
“There will be many worthy investments before legislators this session and I ask my fellow Dealers, manufacturers, and suppliers to join us in telling the story of the Texas LBM industry.,” said Peyton Ritter, President of LAT’s Board of Directors and President at Ritter Lumber and Triple R Brothers. “We are able to devote significant resources to this work because of the tremendous support of our government affairs sponsors that understand how powerful our collective voice and actions are in Austin.”
LAT’s Government Affairs program in 2023 is sponsored by Boise Cascade, DW Distribution, Hixson Lumber Sales, Lumber Insurance Services, Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company, Southwest Moulding & Millwork and UFP Industries.