Hitching Your Wagon to the Lone Star State
By: Lucy Nashed, TLR Communications Director
With 2018 winding down, Texas managed to squeeze in one more big national economic ranking before the ball drops.
This time, it’s Forbes’ annual ranking of best states for business, which puts the Lone Star State at #3 overall (down one spot from second in 2017).
Much like CNBC’s ranking from earlier this year, Forbes 13th annual list takes several categories into consideration, including business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life.
Texas finished in the top 10 in four out of the five categories, ranking first for growth prospects and third for business costs and economic climate. Digging into those categories, there’s a lot to be proud of when it comes to how Texas creates opportunities for families and job creators.
Like the CNBC study, however, there was one area where the Lone Star didn’t shine quite as brightly. Texas ranked a lackluster 25th for its regulatory environment, which includes an analysis of the state’s legal system.
If you’ll remember, CNBC’s ranking also dinged Texas for its “sometimes difficult legal climate.”
Those dynamics are complicated further with the ouster of all but one of Texas’ incumbent appeals court judges who had a contested race in the November elections. While there were hopefully some good judges elected, this wholesale change in the makeup of our judiciary creates instability in the legal system, making the environment even more uncertain for Texans who have a dispute in court.
That’s because no matter what common-sense lawsuit reforms the Texas Legislature passes, if there aren’t competent, experienced judges on the bench to apply the laws, Texas’ legal system could (again) become a drag on our economy.
TLR is still fighting to keep Texas’ legal system fair and efficient. We’ll be working this legislative session to make litigation less costly and time consuming, in addition to other reforms. We’ll also be keeping a close eye on the courts to see how the new crop of judges is affecting our state’s legal system and economic growth.
One thing is certain: the Lone Star is still on the rise. But it’s going to take work to keep it that way.
In addition to the Forbes and CNBC rankings, earlier this year, Texas received Site Selection Magazine’s Governor’s Cup for job creation and economic growth. Revisit Gov. Abbott’s remarks about how tort reform has played a critical role in Texas’ economic success.