Friday, May 27, 2022

Parker: Texas is home to a new tech boom — let’s keep it that way

Many stories have been written about Texas’ “sudden” tech boom; however, the truth is that legislators in the Lone Star State have spent decades laying the groundwork to bring these industry leaders from around the country to cities like Austin, Houston, and Dallas. As we look to this upcoming year, we must continue to focus on building upon the foundation we have put in place when the Texas Legislature convenes into session in January 2023.

Texas has long been known for our business-friendly disposition. Right now, some state lawmakers are planning to draft bills to introduce during the next legislative session that would create barriers to business here in Texas. Their policies will strangle economic growth with bureaucratic red tape. Fortunately, members of the Texas House of Representatives’ IT Caucus, like myself, will spend this interim preparing to fight hard to make certain the next generation of tech innovation starts, stays, and grows in Texas.

While Texan technological pioneers might now be receiving the national recognition they deserve, our state is not new to the tech world. Visionary companies like Texas Instruments and Dell have been Texan since their beginning, highlighting Texas as fertile ground for industry innovation. Our legislature supported their success by cutting back on unreasonable regulations—directly impacting the current boom in our economy. It is also why we see so many companies relocating here from more anti-business states.

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, Texas added nearly 100,000 new jobs in September alone, and the job market has returned back to pre-pandemic levels in a matter of months. Where other states are still lagging, Texas has again emerged as a leader. One of the critical drivers of that growth is our tech industry. Right now, Texas is the second leading state for tech employment opportunities, and according to every measurable metric, those numbers will continue to grow exponentially in coming years.

Companies on the cutting edge of technology, like Hewlett-Packard and Oracle, have made major investments in cities like Houston, Austin, and Dallas. Elon Musk, frustrated by constrictive California rules, moved the most valuable automaker in the world to Texas.

Visionaries in the digital media space have also made significant investments in Texas in recent years. Joe Rogan, the largest podcaster in the world and one of the most influential voices in the country, famously left California and moved his operations to Austin. Whitney Wolfe-Herd, the CEO of the fast-growing multibillion-dollar dating app, Bumble, elected to build the company’s headquarters in Austin, and in 2019, Facebook (now Meta) also opened a major office with continual plans to expand operations in the Lone Star State.

However, we can’t afford to forget why firms like HP, Oracle, and Tesla made monumental moves to our state in the first place—and these industry leaders must remember too. Texas is famous for its hands-off approach to the business community, low taxes, and a penchant for cutting red tape and regulations. These conservative ideals are at the core of the business-friendly landscape of Texas, and those moving here will be well-served by maintaining those policies.

While most things are bigger in Texas, the government shouldn’t be!

It is an honor to serve you in the Texas House of Representatives and work together to build a stronger Texas. If you ever have a thought or idea to share, please reach out to [email protected] or call 972.724.8477.  You can also find me on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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