Medtronic Inc. has officially opened its long-awaited Diabetes Therapy Management and Education Center at The Overlook at The Rim.
So far, Medtronic has hired 200 people who will now work at the center. The company anticipates hiring nearly 1,400 people over the next five years.
“Not only is this facility a center of excellence for diabetes therapy management, (but) it supports Medtronic’s commitment to accelerating the pace of innovation to improve patients’ lives,” says Katie Szyman, president of the diabetes business and senior vice president at Medtronic.
She adds that the center also allows the company to expand business operations in the San Antonio community and support the South Texas economy by bringing in new jobs to the area.
Employees at the San Antonio office will provide customer care and education for patients and health care professionals using the Medtronic insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitoring and therapy management software for the treatment of diabetes.
The policy of raising state rates on the rich has failed before.
Through the early 1990s, several states maintained double-digit income-tax rates, but eventually brought them down partly because legislators realized they were driving out entrepreneurs. To keep good talent, create jobs and drive economic growth, state tax systems had to be competitive with their neighbors.
Mr. Weigandt said the issue of high rates comes up with his clients most often in the context of selling a business. The question then is "what can I do about my taxes," and it can be tempting to relocate when the answer is that the tax bill could be cut by as much as 40% by just changing residence to Florida, Texas, Washington, Wyoming or another state with low or zero personal income tax.
Picking up stakes needs careful thought and planning, though. States have gotten increasingly aggressive about tracking former residents and seeking taxes from them after they have moved.
Midland was ranked the No. 1 small metropolitan area by the Milken Institute this week, holding on to the top position it was given last year because of the success of its oil and gas economy.
"The 2009 Best-Performing Cities report for 2009 is validation of governance based on conservative principles and values," said Rep. Tom Craddick, in a statement. "In the Permian Basin, we promote sound economic policy and free-enterprise values on a daily basis."
The Milken Institute, a non-partisan policy think tank, compiled the rankings and noted Texas as having several high-rated cities because of its business climate. Austin was ranked the No. 1 larger metropolitan area, ahead of No. 2 Killeen-Temple. Odessa was No. 5 among smaller metropolitan areas.
Midland's high score came because the institute found its five-year and one-year job growth rate as well as its wage and salary growth rate were higher than other comparable areas.
The rankings are based on figures through 2008, and whether Texas and Midland will maintain its high marks when 2009 figures are examined remains to be seen.
Gov. Rick Perry's office credits the high rankings to the state's effort to keep taxes down, create a predictable regulatory climate and foster an education system that produces an educated workforce.
"When people across the nation look at Texas, they're discovering that we've fostered an environment that encourages people to pursue their dreams, build businesses and create jobs," Perry said, in a statement.
The report credits Texas as a whole because of its ability to attract jobs and companies from other states. And while the energy industry is a significant part of the state's high rank, Ross DeVol, senior economist at the Milken Institute and lead author of the report wrote that it also was rated well because of the state's effort to diversify by bringing in high-tech companies and attempting to create more research universities.
Craddick also credits the rankings to the state's decision to hold down spending, pass lawsuit reform and to establish a "rainy day fund," according to a release. For the state to see continual success, he said, similar conservative moves need to continue.
"Although Texas is relatively strong today, we will face critical challenges in the future. Our response to each of those challenges must be measured and guided by the same limited government, free market principles that have served Texas well." Craddick said, in a statement.
Environment Texas analyzed the most recent U.S. Department of Energy statistics that show the state is still the leader in carbon-dioxide emissions but cut such pollution by 2 percent between 2004 and 2007. In that same four-year period, emissions around the country went up 0.7 percent and increased in 33 states, according to the report.
"We can drive the economy without driving up pollution," said Environment Texas Director Luke Metzger. "By moving to clean energy, we can cut pollution, help jump-start the economy and create millions of new clean energy jobs around the country."
The group's analysis covered 2004-2007, but emissions in Texas actually began dropping in 2002, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Carbon dioxide emissions in the state have dropped 5 percent between 2002 and 2007.
Finding the balance between the environment and the economy is a constant struggle in Texas. The state relies heavily on the energy industry and has more coal-fired power plants, chemical plants and oil refineries than any other. And with a rapidly growing population, there's always need for more power.
AUSTIN - Texas followed the nation into recession the second half of last year, but the worst is over and by next year the state's economy - including job growth - will rebound, a well-known economist predicted Thursday.
"The biggest decline was in January, but now there is a mild recovery," Keith Phillips, senior economist at the San Antonio office of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said at the annual meeting of the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association, a nonprofit business group.
Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry accused President Barack Obama on Wednesday of “punishing” Texas and being “hell-bent” on turning the United States into a socialist country.
Speaking at a luncheon for a Midland County Republican Women’s group, Perry said that “this is an administration hell-bent toward taking American towards a socialist country. And we all don’t need to be afraid to say that because that’s what it is.”
Perry praised the tea party movement to the Republican activists in attendance, crediting the grassroots groups with discouraging some Democrats in Washington from pushing for a public option in the health care bill.
“If you all think those tea parties didn’t work, then let me tell you something,” Perry said. “When they all came home in August for those town hall meetings, they got an earful. Then they went back to Washington, D.C. and the Senate voted that public option down in committee with a majority of Democrats in the Senate.”
Perry also accused the Obama administration of intentionally dumping illegal immigrants from other western states in Texas, recalling a conversation he had with local officials notifying him that illegal aliens that were caught in Nogales, Arizona were being dropped off by federal authorities in Presidio, Texas.
“Friday a week ago, I got not a phone call from Washington, not a letter from Washington and as a matter of fact, I don’t think any member of our congressional delegation was even notified. The first time we were contacted was by the superintendent of the school and the county judge of Presidio County,” Perry said.
“They said, ‘do you all know what’s fixin’ to happen?’ I said, ‘well, no. What’s going on?’ They said ‘the government has just called us and said for us to get ready for an influx of illegal aliens who were captured illegally crossing the border.’”
“It’s called the alien transfer-and-exit program,” Perry told the crowd, “trucking them from Nogales, past El Paso down to our western border in Presidio.”
The Texas governor said he sees the action as “punishing this state” and urged the assembled Republicans to “stand up” to Washington.
“I say it’s time to make tea parties twice as big as what they were,” Perry declared. “I think it’s time for us to stand up and say to Washington, D.C. that we are no longer going to accept that kind of stuff sitting down and being quiet.”
Gov. Rick Perry on Monday criticized pending carbon cap-and-trade environmental legislation in Congress as harmful to Texas and the rest of the country.
The legislation would cap emissions of carbon dioxide by utilities and other companies. But companies that came in below the limits would get credits; companies that emit more could buy those credits to exceed the caps.
"The cap-and-trade bill pending in Congress would essentially be the largest tax hike in the history of our country," Perry said at a renewable energy conference in Austin. "These energy taxes will cause every product that uses energy to become more expensive, forcing Texas families to shoulder substantial new costs and undercutting our state's economic strength."
A cap-and-trade proposal has passed the U.S. House and is pending in the Senate. The Obama administration backs the proposal as a way to use economic incentives to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses that are blamed for global warming.
Perry spoke to a conference organized by the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association.
Instead of approaching the problem of greenhouse gases through mandates, Washington should learn from Texas, Perry said.
"In Texas, we are making tomorrow's energy more accessible by cultivating a job-friendly environment, offering incentives to make it more affordable, and then, basically, we are getting out of the way and letting the private sector do what the private sector does best."
Washington, by contrast, "generally relies on mandates, threats and strangling regulation," he said.
"They are proposing measures that will add thousand of dollars to every Texan's annual energy cost. I believe that they will kill thousands of jobs in our state and do nothing to improve the environment."
“Twenty years ago, you could go to Texas, where they had very low taxes, and you would see the difference between there and California,” Joel Kotkin, executive editor of NewGeography.com and a presidential fellow at Chapman University in Southern California, told the Los Angeles Times this past March. “Today, you go to Texas, the roads are no worse, the public schools are not great but are better than or equal to ours, and their universities are good. The bargain between California’s government and the middle class is constantly being renegotiated to the disadvantage of the middle class.”
Similarly, the CEO of a manufacturing company in suburban Los Angeles told a Times reporter that his business suffered less from California’s high taxes than from its ineffectual services. As a result, the company pays “a fortune” to educate its employees, many of whom graduated from California public schools, “on basic things like writing and math skills.” According to a report issued earlier this year by McKinsey & Company, Texas students “are, on average, one to two years of learning ahead of California students of the same age,” though expenditures per public school student are 12 percent higher in California.
State and local government expenditures as a whole were 46.8 percent higher in California than in Texas in 2005–06—$10,070 per person compared with $6,858. And Texas not only spends its citizens’ dollars more effectively; it emphasizes priorities that are more broadly beneficial. In 2005–06, per-capita spending on transportation was 5.9 percent lower in California than in Texas, and highway expenditures in particular were 9.5 percent lower, a discovery both plausible and infuriating to any Los Angeles commuter losing the will to live while sitting in yet another freeway traffic jam. With tax revenues scarce and voters strongly opposed to surrendering more of their income, Texas officials devote a large share of their expenditures to basic services that benefit the most people. In California, by contrast, more and more spending consists of either transfer payments to government dependents (as in welfare, health, housing, and community development programs) or generous payments to government employees and contractors (reflected in administrative costs, pensions, and general expenditures). Both kinds of spending weaken California’s appeal to consumer-voters, the first because redistributive transfer payments are the least publicly beneficial type of public good, and the second because the dues paid to Club California purchase benefits that, increasingly, are enjoyed by the staff instead of the members.
The Texas Medical Association’s political arm, TEXPAC, today announced its endorsement of Gov. Rick Perry’s re-election campaign.
The group selected Perry because of his “unwavering support and defense of Texas’ medical liability reforms and his efforts to protect the sacred patient-physician bond,” said Dr. William Fleming III, president of the association.