It appears that one of Rick Perry’s pet projects, the Texas Enterprise Fund, is falling short of its job creation goals. The Fund, which has distributed more than $400 million to growing businesses since 2003, might not be doing a bang-up of a job in bringing jobs to (and keeping jobs in) Texas. So, is the Governor stretching the truth when he talks about all the jobs brought to Texas? A report from Texans for Public Justice says he just might be.
“As Rick Perry makes the Texas Enterprise Fund a centerpiece of his re-election campaign, his office has politically manipulated the troubled jobs program.” - Texans for Public Justice (via The Statesman)
The report indicates that as many as one-third of the 54,600 jobs allegedly created by the fund may not even exist. To make matters worse, recipients like Austin-based Sematech are often rumored to be in relocation talks. Other companies, such as Alloy Polymers in East Texas, have had to cancel their contracts with the state due to the economic climate.
While it might be easy to say that the Fund is full of nonsensical numbers, it has done a few good things for Texas. Santana Textiles will bring 800 new jobs to the Texas-Mexico border and could possibly revitalize the cotton industry in South Texas. Additionally, the Governor’s Office has to the power to recoup the money from businesses that did not reach all of their goals. At the end of the day, this could all be a moot point, since the Enterprise Fund (and part of the Emerging Technology Fund) are on the chopping block next Session. Still, the report shouldn’t be old news; Bill White called for an audit of the Fund’s finances earlier this year.