With special session of 85th Texas legislature ended a day early this week with some accomplishments and some unfinished business. Governor Greg Abbott had laid out an ambitious agenda of 20 issues he wanted addressed. 10 of the 20 made it through both the House and the Senate. Sunset legislation, to keep several state agencies in operation, which was the catalyst of the special, for this special session to begin with, did pass and was signed by the governor over the weekend. A victory for the medical community.
The business community got a win, when the so-called bathroom bill never got a hearing in the house. The issue united large state chambers of commerce in Austin, Dallas and Houston. Tech industry leaders like Dell, Apple, IBM, Samsung and even the energy industry weighed in along with many others and fought successfully to keep the issue from the finish line. Property tax legislation, a priority for the governor, was not addressed and will surely be a hot topic during the interim. Speaking of the interim, most new laws passed during the regular session will take effect September 1. One of those involves the fast growing data center market. Texas is the number two state market for data centers and Dallas is number three among cities.
There are a number of reasons for that. One is the large number of Fortune 500 companies here, the inexpensive cost of power, abundant fiber connectivity in several markets, the availability of technology talent and tax incentives. And on that subject, divertor bolster this space. The 85th legislature passed a bill to allow contract workers to count toward the minimum of 20 employees for taxes incentive purposes. This change should be a job creator, should attract more data center operators and more capital investment in the space. Companies like CBRE, which is the largest data center facilities management practice in the world and based in Dallas and many others will be beneficiaries of this change.
And finally, keep an eye out for a new branding campaign called “Go Big In Texas”, to promote job creation and business investment. This program was sponsored by the Texas Economic Development Corporation. Did you know, Texas economy is the 11th largest in the world and, that’s right, the world and growing. We’ve led the nation in job growth for the last decade. The “Go Big In Texas” campaign was designed to build on that success.
Sponsored in part by:
Craig Casselberry is founder and president of Quorum Public Affairs, Inc. and a 20-year veteran of Texas politics. As president of Quorum Public Affairs, Casselberry has managed more than 100 strategic communications projects, issue coalitions, and federal, state and local public policy campaigns for corporate clients of all sizes. You can learn more about Craig HERE.