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Senate Votes to Realign Economic Development Efforts
AUSTIN -- The Senate today approved SB 275 by Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, abolishing the Texas Department of Economic Development, along with its 9-member board, and creating a streamlined economic development operation in the Governor's Office. SB 275 now moves to the House for consideration.
The bill will save taxpayers an estimated $2.8 million over the biennium, help the state more efficiently assist companies doing business in Texas and more aggressively pursue companies interested in relocating to the Lone Star State, Senator Nelson said.
"This bill establishes an economic development strike force led by the governor that will allow us to aggressively pursue the type of business opportunities that are going to re-ignite our Texas economy," Senator Nelson said. "That we are saving money for the taxpayers is a very nice bonus."
SB 275 is the culmination of the Sunset review process for TDED, which was placed on probation by the Legislature in 2001. Senator Nelson is currently serving as Chairman of the Sunset Advisory Commission. The Committee Substitute for SB 275 would:
- Abolish TDED & its 9-member board and shift the agency's functions into the newly created Texas Economic Development Office in the Governor's Office.
- Those functions include: marketing and promoting the state as a premier business location; facilitating the location, expansion and retention of domestic and international investment; providing Texas businesses and communities assistance with international trade; serving as a central source of economic research & information.
- Makes the new office responsible for out-of-state tourism initiatives.
- Transfers into the new office the functions of the Texas Aerospace Commission.
- Directs the new office to identify and assist industry clusters in order to assist with their competitiveness.