Even taking into account the severe budgetary limits faced by Texas Lawmakers, the 82nd Legislative Session was a huge success for businesses in Texas. Lawmakers maintained and advanced the primary mission of the Texas Association of Business, to create the best business climate on the planet. While not funding all of the “wants” of Texans, Lawmakers did manage to fund the “needs” of our citizens without raising taxes.
Education is always a priority for TAB, and for our State Lawmakers. This priority proved itself during the Session as the Legislature resisted attempts to water-down the state’s previously passed reforms to the school accountability system. Many view the incoming accountability system to be the best in the country. Altering that system would have set education back, hurting both our school children and our taxpayers.
Legislation was passed that will implement a lawsuit reform plan that will make it even harder for lawsuits with no merit to be filed, while at the same allowing people with real claims to have access to the courthouse. Maintaining a good legal climate is vital for continued job creation.
Lawmakers also passed important reforms that will save the state hundreds of millions on Medicaid expenses and managed to maintain the fragile balance between protecting the environment and job creation. Now if only the federal government would figure that out.
From our perspective, the great news is that Texas is well-positioned to maintain its lead in job- creation for the next two years thanks to what the Legislature passed, and in some cases killed, this Legislative Session. However, there is much work to be done by leaders, businesses, and policymakers during this Interim to ensure that when 2013 rolls around, Texas’ success can be repeated.
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