California officials plan visit to study how Texas government conducts business


by Anna M. Tinsley

Source: Star-Telegram

DALLAS -- Gov. Rick Perry wants to show California how business is done in Texas.

That's why he and other lawmakers plan to welcome a delegation of California officials on Thursday. As the GOP-led Texas Legislature faces a multibillion-dollar deficit and struggles to craft a balanced budget, Perry touts the state's success in job creation, its lack of income tax and its ability to refrain from raising taxes.

"We in the Lone Star State weren't immune to the global recession, but we weathered it" better, he said Tuesday while speaking at a National Center for Policy Analysis distinguished lecture series in Dallas. "Many states were clamoring for help. We held the line on taxes."

California leaders "are on a quest... to see how we did it," Perry said.

California officials have pointed out that they face a more than $15 billion budget deficit, even after Gov. Jerry Brown signed off on more than $11 billion in fund transfers and cuts. And while California lost more than 1 million jobs in the past three years, Texas gained about 165,000 jobs, they have noted.

"We want to sit down with these businesses that could not stay in our state and find out why they left, what caused them to pick up their family, their roots, and move to another state in order to compete, in order to grow their businesses," California Republican Assemblyman Dan Logue, who will be part of the delegation, said recently.

Perry acknowledged that he has gigged California and its policies in the past, but he said he wants to help.

"The fact is, we do not want that state to fail," he said. "We want them to be a powerful economy."

Perry said it's important to maintain both competition among states as well as states' rights, as guaranteed under the 10th Amendment.

"Over the years, the American system has worked exceptionally well, with each state working as its own laboratory and individual engine of innovation and discovery to find innovative solutions to its challenges, motivating other states to remain competitive by coming up with their own versions," he said. "Competition ... will help you accomplish more, dream bigger.

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