MEDIA ADVISORY
From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van De Putte, District 26

For Immediate Release
March 8, 2001
Contact: Gilbert Loredo
Legislative Director
512/463-0126

Senator Van de Putte/State Representative Robert Puente Introduces 'Buy-Texas' Legislation

Bill designed to recognize economic impact of state contracts

Austin,Tx-- State Senator Leticia Van de Putte, San Antonio, and State Representative Robert Puente introduced legislation today that would instruct the state to recognize business investments in the Texas economy as well as contributions to county and local tax rolls when awarding state contracts.

"It's incumbent that the State of Texas do everything in its power to reward those companies have made an investment in Texas," Van de Putte said. "When companies hire Texans, pay Texas taxes they should get credit for those efforts."

Currently, other states give priority to such factors because of the in-state economic development that results. Texas does not.

"Keeping busineses and jobs in Texas directly affects our State's economy and the livelihood of our citizens," Puente said. "Doing business with in-state vendors and suppliers further demonstrates our commitment and our support for companies in Texas."

"We need to level the playing field," Van de Putte said. "Making economic development a factor in the contract awards process is not a new idea. In fact, other states are already doing it - and have been for some time. This legislation is designed to create incentives for manufacturers - and other businesses with Texas operations - to continue creating jobs and driving the Texas economy."

SB 1366/HB 3186 -or the BUY TEXAS bill - would recognize that economic commitments that have been made by companies already are "as legitimate an aspect to take into account as a slightly lower bid on a contract," Van de Putte said. "We have businesses right here at home that are employing Texans and contributing to the state, county and school districts right now. There's no justifiable reason for Texas businesses not getting credit for their local investments."

While it is important to attract new businesses to Texas Van de Putte said it makes just as much sense to foster in-state development.

Promoting economic growth by acknowledging significant -and already existing - investment in Texas makes good sense for Texas businesses, Texas workers and the Texas economy as a whole."

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