As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, I'm proud to have helped craft fiscally sound budgets that protect taxpayers while funding essential services. Because of our conservative approach, Texas has fared much better than most during the economic downturn.
In the last legislative session we left the state's Rainy Day Fund untouched, leaving an expected balance of at least $9 billion. In addition, we continued the one-third cut in local school property taxes approved in 2007 and cut taxes on small businesses.
As a member of the Senate Committee on Economic Development, I worked to ensure that Texas remains a national leader in creating jobs. Some of the measures passed by the committee include:
*Legislation directing the Governor to consider small businesses for grants from the Texas Enterprise Fund.
*Authorizing the Texas Workforce Commission to use the skills development fund to create incentives for community and technical colleges to partner with employers to provide workforce training.
*Protecting the ability of school districts to promote economic growth and development by entering into tax abatement agreements with new businesses and providing greater transparency in the school district's decision-making process.