Accurate Census counts are far more than just a matter of interest. They are important to ensuring adequate federal funding for various programs and appropriate representation in Congress. In addition, the Census is crucial to understanding population and demographic trends in order to plan for the future.
Innovation has long been recognized as the key factor supporting US economic growth and competitiveness. A critical element of the infrastructure facilitating product development and commercialization is the system that protects intellectual property and encourages its widespread adoption and implementation. The current framework that facilitates this process includes the LeahySmith America Invents Act (AIA) and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). The AIA and PTAB reduce the need for and cost of patent litigation, reducing transaction costs and generating substantial economic benefits. Potential expansion of the AIA to further enhance its applicability could lead to notable additional gains.
The University of Texas and The University of Oklahoma recently announced that they would soon be leaving the Big 12 Conference to join the Southeastern Conference. Without Texas and OU, the rest of the conference is undoubtedly facing smaller television deals, lower attendance, and other negative consequences. The result would be reductions in athletic revenue, tourism, and economic benefits for affected communities.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the number of Texans seeking food bank assistance has risen 200%. This dramatic increase in food insecurity has caused immeasurable stress and suffering, eroding the health and wellbeing of people across the state. In the midst of this greatly increased need for help, the surplus agricultural products grant, a key aspect of food bank support, has been drastically cut. If this reduction remains in place, the opportunity to acquire almost 20 million pounds of healthy local produce will be lost. Hunger involves quantifiable economic costs in the form of increased health care and social service needs, inferior educational outcomes, and lost productivity. The Perryman Group estimates that cutting the surplus agricultural products grant would cost the state economy hundreds of millions of dollars over time, with economic harms spreading across the entire economy. Because economic activity generates taxes, the cut would also lead to reductions in State and local taxes. State costs for health care and education would also rise due to the effects of hunger.