Office of the Governor Rick Perry


*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Monday, September 15, 2003  •  Speech

Thank you Mayor De La Garza.  The fact that we are here today is a clear sign that your investment in jobs for the people of Harlingen is paying great dividends.

It is good to be with the employees of EchoStar, and my fellow Texans from the Rio Grande Valley on this historic day…the Dies y Seis de Septembre. 

I want to thank EchoStar CEO and founder, Charles Ergen…and Dish Network Executive Vice President, Soraya (pro. Suh-RYE-uh) Cartwright…for their invitation to be here today.

With all the bad news that we have heard in recent years about our national economy, it is encouraging to know that things are looking brighter for border Texans because as many as 1,000 new jobs are coming to Harlingen.

In conjunction with existing operations in El Paso, EchoStar will be providing jobs and paychecks for 3,000 Texans who live along our state’s border by the end of this year.  This is good news for the border region, for the thousands of men and women who benefit from these jobs, and for the Texas economy as a whole.

EchoStar’s investment is one sign of many that the Texas economy is rebounding, growing and poised to help lead America out of tough times.

The positive trends in the Texas economy are unmistakable.  In the last nine months alone I have made multiple visits to South Texas, Dallas, Houston, and Austin to announce the creation of more than 7,000 new jobs worth billions to the Texas economy. 

Jobs are being created in a wide range of industries: manufacturing, advanced semi-conductor production, technology, biotechnology, import and export fields, and retail service, to name just some of the growing segments.

There are some other good signs that point to a more prosperous future.  Recently, Texas surpassed California as the single largest exporter in the United States. 

While other states’ bond ratings have been downgraded, our bond ratings remain strong.  And voters took one more very important step to protect our economy by voting for more affordable health care with the passage of Proposition 12.

We have also recognized that when governments face tough budgetary times, it’s because businesses and families are facing tough times.  So instead of making things tougher on the Texans who pay the bills and pay the taxes, this year we erased a $10 billion budget deficit without raising one cent in new taxes!

In Texas, we have kept taxes low so opportunity remains unlimited.  Some think we need a personal income tax.  I say passing a personal income tax is the smartest thing we have never done.

Instead of raising taxes, we have prioritized spending.  And we have made investments in jobs one of this state’s top priorities.  That’s why we created a new fund…the $295 million Texas Enterprise Fund…to new lure new jobs and opportunities to Texas.  I also want to commend city leaders like Mayor De La Garza for creating incentives for new jobs…its an investment that will pay off greatly in the years to come.

Legislators sent a message to job creators that we believe economic growth and job creation is critical to our future by moving the Texas Department of Economic Development into the governor’s office.

And I am proud to announce today that we will be opening regional economic development offices across the state and one of them will be located right here in the Rio Grande Valley.

I want to thank EchoStar for continuing to invest in Texas.  EchoStar knows what many companies will soon figure out: Texas has a skilled workforce, low taxes, reasonable regulatory policies and a prosperous future on the horizon. 

In Texas, we put jobs first because when you create jobs, you create new wealth and new revenue which can be invested into important priorities like education and health care.

Thank you for investing in Texas.  May this mark just the beginning of a long, and prosperous relationship, with the people of the Rio Grande Valley.  Thank you.   

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