B/CS Chamber Delegation Arrives in DC

While dark skies loomed over the nation's capital Monday, the clouds parted long enough for local leaders to make their presence known.

More than 20 community representatives will hit the halls of the Capitol this week to promote the interests of Bryan/College Station. The first: transportation.

"We've been singing the same song year after year, and I think it's really beginning to pay some dividends now," said Jerry Fox, the legislative affairs committee chairman.

The group will push for access to an interstate, the I-69 corridor, high speed rail and stopping the repeal of the Wright Amendment.

"We need to continue to grow because of our sales tax," said College Station councilman John Happ, also Easterwood Airport's director of aviation. "That's what we depend on, so we need to keep businesses growing. Without that access, it's pretty tough to entice a business to come to Bryan/College Station."

In the area of economic development, the delegation is vying for tax incentives and funding for the FutureGen project, while lobbying against the consolidation of the Bryan and Houston postal services.

With federal dollars shrinking, local leaders will ask legislators to increase the amount reimbursed to rural health care providers and continue to fight for a four-year nursing program at Texas A&M, alll the while touting reasons A&M should be home to a national bio and agro defense facility.

"There's only a handful of communities around the United States that have both a college of medicine and a college of veterinary medicine, which gives us a very unique position," said Todd McDaniel of the Research Valley Partnership.

The delegates from Bryan/College Station will hit the ground running Tuesday morning with a meeting with Senator John Cornyn.
It's their one chance to collectively try to influence federal legislation.