Insider's Report Vol. 7, No. 31
Throughout all seven of my terms as your State Representative, one of my highest priorities has been protecting small businesses in Texas, while ensuring a pro-business environment that strengthens our economy and promotes job creation. It is in recognition of my legislative efforts this past session that I have recently been named a "Champion of Free Enterprise" by the Texas Association of Business (TAB).
I was bestowed TAB's highest recognition based on my voting record during the 2009 legislative session. Most notably, I championed a bill to increase the state franchise tax exemption threshold from $300,000 to $5 million. I also co-authored and helped pass HB 4765 to exempt companies with $1 million or less in annual revenue from the franchise tax.
My pro-business votes helped defeat harmful legislation that would have exposed certain business owners to frivolous lawsuits and expanded Unemployment Insurance eligibility requirements leaving business owners to foot the bill once federal stimulus funding ran out. I also worked to pass a fiscally responsible budget during this current economic downturn without raiding our state's Rainy Day fund or raising taxes.
TAB's honor also acknowledges my continued support towards the expansion of career and technology education in our schools. The passage of HB 3 will help address Texas' workforce needs and motivate students to develop their strengths and interests, while recognizing that there are many pathways to success.
In a time when other states face tremendous job loss and growing debt, Texas continues to attract new businesses with over 70 percent of all jobs in the United States being created in Texas in 2008. The Texas Workforce Commission also recently announced that Texas' unemployment rate of 8.2 percent remains well below the national rate of 9.8 percent. This clearly illustrates that bringing more businesses to the state creates more job opportunities that will sustain us through tough economic times, while also broadening our tax base to help decrease the burden on citizen taxpayers.
I, along with my colleagues who join me in receiving this distinguished honor, have sent a strong message that we will fight to maintain Texas' pro-business environment, which allows small and large businesses to thrive free of excessive regulation or taxation while keeping Texas the best place to live and work.