Known as a formidable champion for the San Antonio business community, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus has created the House Select Committee on Economic Competitiveness and appointed Representative Byron Cook (TX-8) as chair. In a October 12, 2017 proclamation, Straus announced that the committee is tasked with developing a report that presents concrete principles on long-term competitiveness and economic development issues. The committee will focus on identifying ways to help form a foundation for long-term economic growth. The committee has a deadline of December 12, 2017, to report its findings the Speaker and Texas House of Representatives.
Below are the committee’s objectives:
- Examine commitments by the state to education and workforce development to ensure Texans and their employers access to high-paying skilled workers;
- Examine infrastructure — including transportation, energy, water, and utility — to ensure capacity to accommodate growing existing businesses and companies settling in Texas;
- Examine access to investment capital required to maintain healthy existing companies and newcomers to Texas;
- Examine investments in innovation, including barriers to innovation such as unnecessary regulations that would deter or impede the desire of a business to either remain in the state or choose to locate here;
- Examine existing and potential economic tools to compete for or retain jobs, including the appropriate use of those tools and the effectiveness of existing economic development programs;
- Examine the tools and authority of local governments to craft appropriate and specific responses to accommodate growing existing businesses and companies settling in Texas; and
- Examine successful and unsuccessful attempts to lure economic development projects to the state or other states, including common themes reported by companies and employees in choosing to locate or not locate to a state.
Others appointed to the committee include Senfronia Thompson (Vice-Chair) (TX-141), Angie Chen Button (TX-112), Sarah Davis (TX-134), Charlie Geren (TX-119), Joseph Moody (TX-78) and René Oliveria (TX-37).
Speaker Straus has been a strong advocate for keeping business’ interest paramount when developing legislation. The Chamber will work closely with members of this committee to ensure the San Antonio business community priorities remain on the forefront. We understand the integral role state leaders play in ensuring Texas maintains its thriving economy.
To see the official proclamation and official appointment of this committee click here.