The economy for SE Texas is up in the air as Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan, a Republican, plans to focus the 2023 Legislative session on infrastructure. That is if Republicans reelect him to lead. The money is being used for the state’s $13 billion “rainy day fund” and Texas’ share of congressionally-approved money that is intended for a national build back.
Economy and the Forecast
In the comments to the annual Southeast Texas Economic Development Foundation’s economic forecast, Phelan said on Monday that the financial analysts told the state officials it has poor infrastructure and also too much money. This was in the state’s economic stabilization fund. It was about $13 billion.
Phelan has said of that assessment, “I don’t disagree. We are not keeping up.”
Thousands are Moving to Texas
Also, he did say about 1,000 people a day are moving to Texas. Also, it is up to the state to, in fact, provide public education and health care. It is 78% of the state biennial budget. Moreover, plus a plan for the investments which do support jobs. These include transportation and improvements in rural and urban broadband.
Moreover, there is an initial $500 million in broadband that is already spoken for. However, there is adequate interconnect ability which is still billions of dollars away.
The continuing pandemic also has made clear that Texas must rely more on distance learning because education underpins new jobs, Phelan said.
Also, the Biden administration is actually making $7 billion available through its infrastructure improvement bill. Plus, Texas could make up the difference in spending $14 billion for investments by using money from its “rainy day fund,” he said.
Plus, he did say Texas has about 11 million jobs are open. While 1,000 or more people a day are moving to the state, they aren’t coming to Southeast Texas.
Moreover, higher education is critical for keeping people in the region, he said. Also, Phelan said “gems” like the three two-year schools in regional cities which are keys in training people for well-paying careers.