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Transmittal Letter

February 28, 2001

The Honorable Rick Perry
The Honorable William R. Ratliff
The Honorable James E. "Pete" Laney
Members of the 77th Legislature

Fellow Texans:

I am pleased to deliver Rural Texas in Transition, an in-depth study of the economic and demographic changes that rural Texas has undergone over the last few decades. I hope that this report will assist you during the current legislative session and provide some insight as you consider important legislation for rural Texas.

Our research has yielded some interesting findings. Rural Texans have persevered through droughts, low crop and livestock prices, and extreme volatility in the oil and gas industry. Many rural Texas communities have flourished due to the emergence of new industries and creative approaches to economic development. Rural Texas is in the midst of a period of economic transition, and bright days are on the horizon.

This report is available at If you have any questions or comments as you review this document, please contact Don Kiser, manager of my Strategic Research Section, by e-mail at or toll free by phone at 1-800-531-5441, extension 3-4466, or Patty Leo, an economist who is project manager for this report, by e-mail at or by phone at extension 5-1057, or Troy Glasson by email at or toll free by phone at 1-800-531-5441, extension 3-4908.

The future of Texas depends on a healthy economy throughout the state. I am committed to working with all Texans, and particularly with you, as we discuss issues affecting rural Texas. If I can be of any further assistance, please contact me directly at 512/463-4444. Thanks for all that you do for Texas.



Carole Keeton Rylander
Texas Comptroller