A heath care services and research consulting firm will receive $500,000 in incentives through the Texas Enterprise Fund to expand its Austin office. The Washington, D.C.-based Advisory Board Company is the latest business awarded money from the fund created by Gov. Rick Perry to lure out-of-state companies to expand operations in Texas.
According to the agreement, the funds will create an additional 239 jobs in Austin and expand the company’s local division, focused on software development and technical support services.
The Legislature created the Texas Enterprise Fund in 2003 at Perry’s request. Businesses that have received Texas Enterprise Fund incentives - totaling $441.7 million - include 3M, Caterpillar and Facebook. According to the governor’s office, the fund has generated $15 billion in capital investment in the state.
Perry cited the Texas Enterprise Fund as an example of his pro-business credentials during his failed presidential bid. Critics have stated that some of those companies or their executives have donated to Perry’s campaigns, with some Texas lawmakers calling for changes to how the incentives are doled out.
Each potential applicant goes through an 11-step “due diligence” process and must be approved by the governor, the lieutenant governor, and the speaker of the Texas house. The Legislature has approved funding for the Texas Enterprise Fund each session.
The governor’s office also touts that the fund has created 60,500 new jobs, but an analysis done by the Texas Tribune shows those numbers are disputed.