AUSTIN, Texas – SpaceX has publicly supported legislation authored by state Sen. Eddie Lucio to strengthen the aerospace and aviation division within the Governor’s Office.
Alma Walzer, a representative of SpaceX, testified before the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development in support of Senate Bill 458.
“On behalf of SpaceX and its employees, who number over 3, 500 across the United States including about 350 in Central and South Texas, I thank you for the opportunity to participate in today’s hearing and to speak in support of Senate Bill 458, ” Walzer testified.
“We appreciate the committee’s focus on the aerospace industry in Texas and in taking up Senator Lucio’s legislation today, this committee is giving the Texas space industry an opportunity to highlight the significant economic benefits the aerospace industry brings to the State through our supply of purchases, launch customer activities and tourism.”
Lucio said SB 458 reforms the existing aerospace-related division in the Governor’s Office and “improves the manner by which the state addresses the planning, development and support of aerospace initiatives to ensure that Texas is on the forefront of the aerospace industry in the nation.”
Lucio said he has worked with Governor’s Office on crafting the bill. He said it provides “additional resources to the aerospace division” by allowing it to partner with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on higher education programs that support aerospace activities and with the Texas Workforce Commission on higher technology skills. He said SB 458 provides for both a short-term and long-term plan and improves the aerospace and aviation advisory committee by including a member from each active spaceport development corporation in the state.
In her testimony, Walzer explained the work SpaceX is doing. “Over the past 12 months SpaceX has partnered with over 250 Texas vendors, a majority of whom are considered small or disadvantaged businesses. As our activities expand from Central into South Texas we can predict a significant economic impact based on Florida’s experience where each satellite or unmanned launch has been estimated to have a $1 million benefit for the local economy, ” Walzer said.
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