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AUSTIN-The state’s Sunset Commission has recommended the Texas Economic Development department be continued for another 12 years and restructured to have closer ties to the governor. The commission suggests the governor appoint the executive director of economic development, who would answer directly to the governor.

Currently, the governor appoints the department’s nine-member board and selects the executive director. Without a stronger connection to the governor, the department’s ability to market and coordinate state economic development efforts is limited, the commission’s report says.

Two years ago, the Sunset Commission called the economic development department ineffective and recommended it be put on two-year probation. The department’s capital fund and rural program were transferred to other agencies and the Smart Jobs program was discontinued.

Jeff Moseley, the economic development department’s executive director, says the Sunset Commission’s newest recommendation demonstrates his department’s progress. “We’ve concentrated our efforts on our core programs and a core mission—to aggressively market the state as a business location and tourist destination,” he says in a statement.

In the past year, the department’s activities have included organizing foreign trade missions. Upcoming mission are to China, Peru and Chile.

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