An Integrated Economic Development Budget: Putting Apples and Oranges in the Same Basket

Scattered throughout the state budget, these programs surface not only in the Texas Department of Economic Development and the Texas Workforce Commission, but also in agencies as disparate as the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and most institutions of higher education. Historically, economic development efforts in Texas have lacked coordination: the apples (direct appropriations) are separated from the oranges (tax incentives). The creation of an integrated (or unified) economic development offers one strategy for addressing this issue.