Subscribe to receive our Floor Reports covering all the action on the Texas House and Senate floor!
Senate Bill 458 would give the aerospace and aviation office of the Texas Economic Development and Tourism Office additional functions in order to support its existing role of developing short-term and long-term business strategies.
It would require that the aerospace office develop short-term and long-term policy strategies and make recommendations to the Legislature on increasing investments, encouraging economic development of the industry, identifying opportunities, increasing funding for the spaceport trust fund, and partnering with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Workforce Commission.
The aerospace office would have to make specific short-term and long-term statutory, administrative, and budget-related recommendations to the Legislature and the Governor. A plan of state actions for short-term recommendations would have to start no later than Sept. 1, 2017 and would have to be fully implemented by Sept. 1, 2020. A plan of state actions for long-term recommendations would have to start no later than Sept. 1, 2020 and would have to be fully implemented by Sept. 1, 2025. Plans would have to be submitted by December 1, 2016.
Each year, the office would have to submit a report to the Legislature and the Governor detailing actions taken to carry out the policy initiatives (status of activities, funding expenditures, work done under partnerships).
Senate Bill 458 would also add one member for each active spaceport development corporation in the state to the Aerospace and Advisory Committee.
While no fiscal implications to the State or units of local government are anticipated by the Legislative Budget Board for Senate Bill 458, it would still encourage the growth of both government intervention and spending, and would hinder the free market system. This bill encourages the aerospace and aviation office to go beyond their initial mission of providing research, strategies to promote the industry, and recommendations to the Legislature by developing policy initiatives or recommending a specific plan of action to increase the economic development of the industry, and possibly to increase funding of the spaceport trust fund.
We do think that government could create a business-friendly environment to assist commercial providers in the aerospace industry in conducting business in this state, and this should be limited to what the Texas model represents: low taxes, limited government, and a low level of regulations that do not impede an industry’s daily business. Senate Bill 458, on the other hand, encourages an economic development program that assumes that the aerospace and aviation industry needs the hand of government to grow.
The role of government is not to develop and implement strategies to foster an industry’s growth. We oppose Senate Bill 458.