Texas May Change How Economic Development Cash Is Allotted

Tuesday, 08 Mar 2011 02:46 PM

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Texas lawmakers are considering changing the way Gov. Rick Perry uses a fund to attract businesses to the state, the Austin American-Statesman reported Tuesday.

State Sen. John Carona, a Dallas Republican, is pushing a bill to allow committees appointed by elected officials to oversee the state’s Enterprise and Emerging Technology funds.

Currently, the governor awards grants from the fund with the written approval of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus.

Katherine Cesinger, Perry's press secretary, told the newspaper that the grants are thoroughly vetted before they’re awarded, but that it's the Legislature's prerogative to suggest another method.

"The governor will thoughtfully consider any legislation that makes it to his desk," she said.

Carona said it's important that the public not lose faith in how the state awards millions of dollars in tax money to private industry during a time of budget cuts and layoffs. He said he hoped the new governing structure would address transparency and conflicts of interest.





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