DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Texas Governor Rick Perry recently gave Californians a jolt, when he got behind the wheel of a Tesla in Sacramento last month trying to lure the electric car maker to open its second factory in the Lone Star State, not the Golden State.
That drove Republican California State Senator Ted Gaines to Texas — first to Austin Monday, then to Dallas Tuesday to keep that from happening.
“We want to make sure the Giga factory remains in California – there’s 6,500 jobs. We’re going to be fighting, doing everything I can to be successful in the effort.”
While in Dallas, Gaines met with Chamber of Commerce officials and a business he wouldn’t identify.
Once billed as a business recruiting trip, it might now be considered more educational in nature.
Gaines says, “To find out what you’re doing right in Texas that I can take back to California, to make California a better state a better place to make jobs.”
While Texas is vying for the new Tesla battery plant, Gaines wants his legislature to pass an incentive package to win the facility.
Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona are also competing for the factory. No word yet when Tesla will announce which state will win.
After Toyota’s recent announcement that it’s moving to Plano from the Los-Angeles area, SMU Economics professor Mike Davis says if Tesla decides against California, “That would be a very, very public big black eye.”
Davis says to become like Texas, California needs to become more business friendly.
“With the regulatory climate in California where it is now, it’s becoming really hard for Californians to prosper. Any business that requires a thriving middle class workforce is going to have trouble, especially in parts of California.”
Senator Gaines says he also wants to get the message out California is open for business. But with higher taxes and a higher cost of living, he didn’t meet with any Texas company looking to move to California.
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