Democrat for Lt. Governor, Senator Leticia Van de Putte, has been enjoying a busy and productive week. Not only did she earn the endorsement of a major law enforcement organization (Texas Sheriffs), she also earned the nod of Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia.
Today, Van de Putte announced her Texas First Jobs and Economic Development policy proposals at my favorite, St. Arnold’s Brewery, after meeting with entrepreneurs and small business owners.
“As Lieutenant Governor, I will fight for a strong business climate and a quality workforce, so that businesses create jobs in Texas. Through fair and low taxes, predictable regulation, smart investments, and a public education that is second to none, we will foster a prosperous future for Texas businesses and workers.”
Van de Putte wants to foster entrepreneurship and small business growth and will do so by keeping Texas the “space state,” and supporting space exploration, streamline tax policies, investing in tech start-ups, attracting microlenders to support small businesses, and foster small business growth through the use of Jobs4Texas, Texas Enterprise Fund, and the Texas Emerging Technology Fund.
The Senator also proposes to ensure a business climate that will include a regulatory system that is fair. She states she wants to improve the environmental permitting process to help businesses moving into the state. Van de Putte also mentions her past support of regulatory changes that made it easier for breweries, distilleries, and wineries to get their products on the market.
She also wants to keep Texas competitive in a changing economy by protecting and strengthening the military and aerospace industry that pumps $150 billion into the state economy.
Of particular interest to this blogger was Van de Putte’s continued support of the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Emerging Technology Fund which some say have been slush funds for Rick Perry’s favorite donors. The Senator wants to ensure accountability for these programs through a thorough applicant review process and a process by which Texas collects damages if the goals on which investments to an individual company are based are not met. For the Tech fund, she will alter the composition of the board to ensure checks and balances.
Finally, Van de Putte wants to ensure the availability of workforce programs as it is predicted that by 2020, over 55% of jobs will require some sort of credential.
I’ll admit that, based on the current workings of the Texas economy, this is a strong proposal–heavy on business support and practical on regulatory matters. And this is what Texans are expecting from the state to ensure a positive jobs climate and safe workplaces.