Senators grill Texas governor's office on funds
February 6, 2013 | Modified: February 6, 2013 at 2:01 pm
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republican and Democratic senators grilled the governor's director of economic development on Wednesday, questioning how many jobs have actually been created by two incentive funds and whether they are adequately monitored.
Gov. Rick Perry's office administers the Texas Enterprise Fund, designed to attract businesses to Texas, and the Emerging Technology Fund, which invests in innovative companies. Aaron Demerson, the director who oversees the funds, said they help create jobs in Texas and spur technological development.
But Sen. Bob Deuell, the Republican chairman of the Senate Economic Committee, started a hearing at the Capitol by acknowledging that the funds have many critics that call them corporate welfare or a slush fund for Perry to reward campaign donors.
"There are people from the far right that don't like this kind of thing, there are people from the far left that don't like it and people in between," the Greenville lawmaker said. "The criticism you get is that these are phantom job reports ... and that these jobs are not really created."