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May 2011 — Web Exclusive

A Letter from the Comptroller

Photo of Susan Combs

Across Texas

  • Scott & White Healthcare has begun building a 320,000-square-foot hospital facility in College Station. When it opens in 2013, the $165 million, 143-bed facility will offer an emergency room, operating rooms, an imaging center, cancer services and interoperative robotics. The project will bring about 600 jobs to the area.
  • Medical device maker Kinetic Concepts Inc. has announced plans to build a three-story, 100,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in northwest San Antonio. The new HQ will open in summer 2012.
  • Disney Cruise Line will begin offering cruises from Galveston in September 2012. The seven-night cruises will visit ports including Cozumel and Grand Cayman Island and Cozumel.
  • Dish Network purchased Dallas-based Blockbuster Inc. for $320 million in an April bankruptcy auction.

As Comptroller, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to cities, suburbs, small towns and farming communities in every corner of our state. Whether I’m in the Panhandle, down in the Valley or any place from El Paso to Texarkana, it’s always clear that Texans have an intense pride in our great state and their unique place in it.

And every community, no matter how big or small, is centered on local businesses, and the men and women whose investments and sweat equity have made them respected institutions on Main Streets all over Texas.

They’re the moms and pops whose stores have weathered the economic challenges of the recent recession. They’re the barbers, bankers and bakers who sponsor Little League teams and proudly put their names on those Fourth of July floats. They’re the stores staffed by stock boys or checkout girls who may someday become tomorrow’s CEOs. And the local sales taxes they collect are returned to their communities to finance public safety and other vital services.

In this issue of Fiscal Notes, we take a look at our recent FAST report, which scores how local school districts use their financial resources to educate our kids. As government budgets at all levels continue to tighten, we need the same discipline, insistence on efficiency and attention to the bottom line found in our small businesses.

In addition, we look at how corporations have adapted to the Sarbanes-Oxley financial reporting requirements. Transparency — in this case, ensuring accountability to stockholders — is always a good thing in my book, although the legislation has added some costs to business.

All businesses, whether they employ five or 5,000, want fairness and some measure of certainty. Providing that is one measure of the pro-business environment Texas strives to offer to those who create our jobs — and make the free market work for all of us.

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