In a strategic move to further cement the Lone Star State’s importance in the United States semiconductor sector, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) law week signed the Texas CHIPS Act into law. This legislation is a testament to the conservative spirit of enterprise and a swift answer to the concerns raised over the federal CHIPS Act.
The Texas CHIPS Act, also known as HB 5174, introduced by state Rep. Greg Bonnen (R), received widespread bipartisan approval. This vote of confidence is significant, with a convincing 136-9 verdict in the House and a 28-3 consensus in the Senate. It’s a striking indication of the state’s united resolve to drive its semiconductor industry forward.
Gov. Abbott stated on social media, “Texas ranks number 1 in the United States for semiconductor manufacturing for the expansion of the semiconductor industry.” He further outlined that this new law would “bolster Texas’ position nationally and internationally when it comes to semiconductors.”
This morning, I signed into law the Texas CHIPS Act, which will ensure Texas remains the home of innovation in semiconductor research and manufacturing.
Proud to work with members of the Texas Legislature to keep Texas the #1 state for semiconductor production. pic.twitter.com/hqm8t9eh7X
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) June 8, 2023
Here’s a local news report about the Texas CHIPS Act as it was making its way through the state legislature:
The Texas CHIPS Act introduces the Texas Semiconductor Innovation Consortium and a dedicated Innovation Fund. The fund aims to employ federal CHIPS Act money to incentivize onshoring microchip production. The Consortium will advise the Governor and the legislature, backed by an executive committee responsible for devising a comprehensive, statewide strategic plan.
This law is not merely about business — it’s about the future of technology, innovation, and workforce development. The Consortium and the executive committee will partner with higher education institutions, non-profit stakeholders, and others. Their collective goal is to create a broad strategic plan concerning semiconductor innovation, research, design, and manufacturing. In addition, they aim to entice public and private investments and broaden opportunities for workforce training and development tied to semiconductors.
The Innovation and Technology Caucus of the Texas Legislature applauded the enactment of the bill, underscoring that it “helps Texas remain a leader in microchip production by leveraging federal funds to invest in semiconductor research, production, and workforce development.”
The federal CHIPS Act had its share of controversy, with some critics such as Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) who described it as a “pro-China” bill that “will weaken America’s standing on the world stage.” These reservations also revolved around the lack of certain restrictions in the bill, such as requirements for manufacturers to build a certain number of plants in the U.S. or to prevent outsourcing of American jobs overseas.
However, Gov. Abbott sees an opportunity to leverage some of the vast $280 billion federal funds to attract even more businesses to Texas. The state leads the U.S. in job growth, boasts the fastest economic expansion, and is the number one state for business. Moreover, Texas has more Fortune 500 company headquarters than any other state.
Ultimately, the Texas CHIPS Act is an ambitious yet pragmatic approach toward embracing the future while adhering to the conservative values of fiscal responsibility and free enterprise. It strikes a balance between leveraging federal resources and maintaining control at the state level, thereby ensuring that the interests of Texans are duly prioritized and protected.