P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19, 2003
AUSTIN -- The Senate Committee on Government Organization today approved SB 275 by Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, creating a leaner economic development operation in the Governor's Office and abolishing the Texas Department of Economic Development, along with its nine-member Board. SB 275 now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
The bill will save taxpayers an estimated $2.8 million over the biennium and 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.
"We are helping our budget situation with this bill, but more importantly we are going to be helping our economy by setting up a SWAT team in the governor's office to seek out new business opportunities for Texas and aggressively pursue those deals," Senator Nelson said.
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 a 4-year term as Chairman of the Sunset Advisory Commission. The Committee Substitute for SB 275 would:
- Abolish the Texas Economic Development Committee & its 9-member board and shifts the agency's functions into the newly created Texas Economic Development Office in the Governor's Office, headed by an executive director appointed by the Governor to a 2-year term.
- 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 Office the sole state entity responsible for out-of-state tourism initiatives.
- Directs the Office to identify and assist industry clusters in order to assist with their competitiveness.