On Wednesday, March 22 the Austin Chamber and Opportunity Austin hosted a State of the State luncheon with Governor Greg Abbott, who shared his priorities for the Texas Legislature. The event was open to Austin Chamber Board Members and Chairman's Circle Members, Opportunity Austin Board Members and lead investors, and our regional partners.
More than 150 people attended the event at the Hotel ZaZa to hear directly from the Governor about what he hopes to accomplish this year, including updating the state's economic incentive tools, property tax relief for homes and businesses, expanding workforce development programs, and continuing to make progress on infrastructure projects.
Scott Haywood with HNTB, the presenting sponsor for this event, introduced Governor Abbott, who talked about his priorities, the ongoing work of lawmakers at the Capitol, and how everyone in the room can help keep Texas a great place to live and work.
One of the key focuses of the Governor's remarks was on economic incentives and a replacement for Chapter 313, the state's previous economic incentive program for capital-intensive projects.
"If we’re going to maintain our business leadership, we must pass economic incentives this legislative session."
- Governor Greg Abbott
Opportunity Austin, in partnership with greater:SATX, the economic development initiative for San Antonio, are working together to ensure Texas creates a robust economic development program that helps the region attract business looking to relocate or expand. Governor Abbott addressed the importance of economic incentives for keeping Austin, San Antonio, and Texas competitive with other states.
Texas has been extremely successful in attracting relocations an expansions to the state and the Austin region has been particularly effective. This has helped Texas be recognized by Site Selector magazine for the last 11 years as the winner of the Governor's Cup, which is awarded to the nation’s top-performing state for job-creating business relocations and expansions. Governor Abbott mentioned the success of Austin and the important work that Opportunity Austin and the Austin Chamber do to keep sustaining that prosperity into the future.
“Because of your efforts, the Austin economy and the regional economy is a tremendous success,” Abbott said. “And in fact, 2022 was a banner year for Austin. Austin is ranked as having the No. 1 fastest-growing metro in the United States of America. You have employed a record number of Texans and the unemployment rate in Austin is 2.7%, which is far below the state average."
- Governor Greg Abbott
He also discussed his push to have lawmakers improve workforce development programs in the state to ensure that there are opportunities for Texans of all ages to have opportunities in our workforce. This has been a key priority of both the Austin Chamber and Opportunity Austin in partnership with our local educational institutions. The Governor also mentioned an emphasis on implementing regulatory reform, and increasing the power-generating capacity of the state’s power grid during this legislative session.