Coming together to move Texas forward

Sometimes it’s just too easy to hold our heads high about Texas. We’re the ninth largest economy in the world. The No. 1 state both in attracting businesses and exporting products. One in 11 Americans now live here, according to July 2021 figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. And (as importantly) our barbecue and tacos are the best anywhere! 

That all backs up what we’ve been saying for generations to anyone who would listen about Texas’ size, influence, promise and independence. It explains the economic expansion we’ve seen over the past decade between the Red River and the Rio Grande, which some call the “Texas Miracle.”  

But as we look at this landscape, which makes us brim with Texas pride, it’s important that we come together as Texans to look toward our horizon and seek even greater Texas opportunity and prosperity.  

Our state is approaching its bicentennial in 2036, and we expect to add nearly 10 million more residents by then. As we close out 2022 and prepare for the 88th Legislative Session, this unique moment offers us the chance to unite across party and geographic lines and use our assets to lead the nation in educating children, creating jobs, developing modern infrastructure and providing efficient services to all Texans. That’s our mission at Texas 2036 — bringing together large and diverse groups of businesses, elected officials, community leaders and the public to support common sense, nonpartisan ideas that will improve our quality of life and make Texas a better place to raise families and do business. 

Throughout 2022, we’ve seen this preference for working together at forums and community discussions we hosted in all corners of the state, from El Paso and Midland/Odessa to Houston, Dallas and San Antonio. We brought these groups together to build on the data we’ve collected to generate the right solutions for Texans who seek to positively impact future generations.

We saw that change last year during the 87th Legislative Session. Lawmakers passed more than three dozen bills that improved health care affordability and coverage, reduced digital connectivity gaps, future-proofed the state’s ability to fund pensions and public education, addressed COVID-learning loss and committed to workforce training for more students and mid-career workers.

That was just the start. 

This coming session, lawmakers again have the opportunity to invest in Texas’ future. They will take on the unprecedented task of allocating billions in new revenue that the state collected during the post-COVID economic recovery. 

Lawmakers can use the money to better align the state’s education pipeline with the changing needs of our workforce. They can support rural hospitals that have been closing at record rates. They can connect more families to high-speed internet which has become vital to work, school and health care. And they can invest in Texas’ water supply and infrastructure and other natural resources as our weather becomes more extreme. 

These are solutions that millions of Texans tell us again and again that they want. And they are solutions that will continue to make us prouder and prouder of our great state.