EL PASO – Gov. Rick Perry today credited conservative fiscal decisions and accomplishments from the 81st Legislative Session with strengthening Texas’ economy, and highlighted the importance of communities like El Paso, which are vital to Texas’ future prosperity. The governor noted El Paso’s cultural and economic strength and cited the area’s growing military presence, commitment to higher education and proximity to Mexico, Texas’ largest trading partner, at the 110th Annual Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce Gala.
“As Americans look for the best place to live, work and raise a family, more of them are heading to Texas,” Gov. Perry said. “The combination of hard working Texans and our commitment to low taxes, predictable regulations and a fair legal system has helped us lead the nation in job creation, and I believe that Texas has the strength and vision to lead the nation out of these tough times.”
The governor touted House Bill 51, which helps the University of Texas at El Paso and other institutions become emerging research institutions, and draw top researchers and investment dollars to the university. Gov. Perry also noted the benefits of one of the state’s strongest economic development tools, the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, which has invested $4 million in West Texas projects. Additionally, at the governor’s request, the Legislature increased funding for the Skills Development Fund, part of which will be used for training workers in the El Paso area.
According to Moody’s Economy, El Paso has the lowest cost of business of any metropolitan area in the state and 80 metropolitan areas in the southwest U.S. In 2008, more than $20 billion worth of imports passed through the Port of El Paso, equating to nearly 10 percent of all goods entering the state.