FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
CONTACT: Doris Sanchez, Press Secretary
Phone: (512) 463-0385
Sen. Lucio is appointed to Senate Select Committee on Economic Development
AUSTIN, TX -- Yesterday Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst appointed Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. to serve on the Senate Select Committee on Economic Development.
"As the only South Texas/Border Senator appointed to this critical Select Committee, I am very thankful that Lt. Gov. Dewhurst has entrusted me with this key appointment," said Sen. Lucio. "The economic development issues we will be researching, coincide with and build on the work that I have achieved over the years as Chairman of the Senate's International Relations and Trade Committee (IRT) . I look forward to working with both committees and to continue to be a proponent of innovative legislative measures that engender economic development in cities and distressed regions of Texas.
"With the growth that we have experienced in recent years, especially in South Texas, I feel strongly that we need to continue to create greater job opportunities and attract businesses that provide higher wage jobs, particularly in distressed areas of the state. The charges of this Select Committee will complement the charges that my Standing Committee on International Relations and Trade has been given to develop directives that will advance Texas's economy and make it more competitive in the global marketplace."
The Committee's charges are:
- Inventory economic development programs and incentives, including tax abatements, offered by state and local governments. Review the costs and benefits of Texas' economic development tools, including the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Texas Emerging Technologies Fund, and make recommendations for improvements. Review similar incentive programs in other states and the potential impact on Texas' competitive advantage in attracting and keeping strong businesses. Analyze regional economic development trends and opportunities and identify option for maximizing economic development with region-specific incentives.
- Review the costs and benefits of using the Texas Enterprise Zone Program as an economic development tool for local communities to partner with the state to promote job creation and capital investment in economically distressed areas of the state.
- Study the current state of the nanotechnology industry in Texas. Analyze the impact of the industry on economic development. Review federal and state regulations regarding the development, use, and disposal of materials and waste products related to nanotechnology. Make recommendations for ensuring that Texas is a competitor in the nanotechnology industry and for ensuring the safety of the public as this industry grows.
- Examine the costs and the effectiveness of policy options, including state incentives, available to cities and counties to preserve and redevelop historic downtown properties.
- Study the merits of developing a comprehensive state policy of offering incentives to local governments for activities relating to recruiting and hosting special events.
In addition to Sen. Lucio, also appointed to the Committee are Sen. Kim Brimer, chairman, and Senators Kevin Eltife, Troy Fraser, Mike Jackson and Kirk Watson.