2015 will bring a fresh debate to Austin in Education, Infrastructure, Immigration and Property Taxes v. Sales Taxes. Republicans in the Legislature and the conservative business community in Texas, are committed to making the Texas Legislature a successful one and they a hardline Tea Party agenda on Immigration especially to repeal the Texas Dream Act, as speaker Joe Straus has recently stated.
As a result, there will be clash between the Texas House of Representatives that is more business-oriented, led by Joe Straus, and the more conservative Senate led by Dan Patrick who ran on a Tea Party agenda on Immigration.
In 2015, Greg Abbott, who will officially take office on January 20th, has touted Education and Infrastructure as one of his top priorities to keep the state strong as Texas continues to grow and its economy becomes more diverse. However, Abbott’s vision for the future on Education and Infrastructure will naturally find opposition from recalcitrant Tea Party groups like Empower Texans, the Tea Party Caucus, and even the Texan Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), think tank that in the past has opposed spending bills on infrastructure and water projects like Prop 6.
Consequently, one of Abbott’s biggest challenges will be how to reconcile his vision for the future (i.e. education and infrastructure) with the opposition and hardline politics of Tea Party groups who are a very active share of the GOP base in the state; most likely these groups will oppose any spending bill to invest in education and the Texas infrastructure. Prop 1 passed, but it will allocate only $1.7 billion for infrastructure and roads, but Abbott and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) have argued that the state needs $4 billion to improve the Texas infrastructure.
Here is our December newsletter that deals with these same issues.
In 2015, we are committed to continue bringing serious, savvy business policy analysis grounded in academia that are vital issues for Texas, and the nation, from the most influential conservative think tanks. Our own analysis, on Education, Energy, Immigration, Free Trade, the Latino Vote, Voter Trends , and Entitlements Reform will also be distributed nationwide. We will be adding a contributor who will work together with businesses and groups with similar policy objectives on these issues.
In addition, we will be looking for someone to write insightful analysis/Reports on energy. With the new “Energy Revolution” in Texas and the opening opportunity in Mexico to their shale resources, the economies of Texas and Mexico will become more intertwined. This is important for Texas, and here is why:
“the prolific Eagle Ford shale formation in Texas extends south across the border into Mexico’s Burgos Basin and accounts for two-thirds of Mexico’s shale gas resources. Mexico is also estimated to have 13 billion barrels of recoverable shale oil resources and ranks 8th largest in the world.”
This Energy Revolution on both sides of the border means thousands of jobs for Texans, and new infrastructure projects across South Texas. However, often the politics do not reflect the free markets and free trade between Texas and northern Mexico. Thus, the goal for us will be to write insightful energy analysis on how this energy revolution will impact the Texas economy with jobs, economic development, and free trade. This year, trade between the U.S. and Mexico will surpass the 1/2 trillion dollars and 44 percent of that trade will come through Texas.
In 2015, Texas will be the epicenter of national politics if indeed Gov. Rick Perry, Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz enter the presidential race; and most likely the issue of Immigration will be a “hot” topic in the GOP primary due to the implementation of “Executive Action,” and the fight over “Texas Dream Act” in the Texas Legislature. In Texas alone, about 900,000 immigrants and thousands of businesses will be allowed to come out of the shadows with this “Executive Action.” Not only will this impact the economy but will lead us to a more secure border as all have been demanding.
Most likely, Gov. Perry will continue touting his support for the Texas Dream Act and his record on a “secure border,” while Ted Cruz will try to use that against Perry as a “magnet” for more illegal immigration and “lawlessness,” whereas Jeb Bush will insist that we need to look at Immigration in economic terms, or as an “act of love.”
We are honored to have been invited to attend Governor-elect Greg Abbott’s inauguration as Governor of Texas in Austin. We also look forward to see Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott who will become the first Hispanic first lady in the history of Texas.
We will also be in San Antonio for the Mexico Shale Summit on Feb 17-18, and we also will attending the California Republican Convention in Sacramento on Feb 27, to invite more High Tech companies to invest in Texas.
We thank everyone who have helped us with their knowledge, research and funding. We look forward to work with even more people that share our vision for a strong Texas, a strong Republican Party, as strong Latino community, and a strong America.