AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Economic Freedom will host the policy panel “Economic Development: Texas Style” at the 12th Annual Policy Orientation for the Texas Legislature on Friday, January 10, at 9:45 a.m. at the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol.

“Texas has led the nation in job growth for the last decade not because of government-run economic development programs, but because relative to other states we’ve done a better job of holding the line on taxes, spending, and regulations,” said Bill Peacock, Vice President for the Center for Economic Freedom. 

Panelists include:

  • Bill Peacock (moderator) is the Vice President for the Center for Economic Freedom at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. 
  • Senator Brian Birdwell is the vice chairman of the Higher Education committee and the Veteran Affairs committee. In January 2012, he was appointed to the Sunset Advisory Commission and the Joint Interim Committee to Study Human Trafficking. 
  • Representative Jim Murphy serves on the Small Business and Economic Development and Higher Education Committees and is the Chairman of the subcommittee on Manufacturing. His legislative work has been recognized by the National Coalition for Capital, Texas Right to Life, and the Texas Association of Business.
  • Brandon Aghamalian is an expert on local government, transportation, economic development, property tax, and cultural arts issues. As President of Focused Advocacy his emphasis is representing local governments before the Texas Legislature. Aghamalian founded and managed a local government advocacy practice group, representing dozens of municipalities before the state.
  • Matthew Mitchell is a senior research fellow and the lead scholar on the Project for the Study of American Capitalism at the Mercatus Center. He is also an adjunct professor of economics at George Mason University. He specializes in economic freedom and economic growth, public-choice economics, and the economics of government favoritism toward particular businesses.

For twelve years, the Foundation’s Policy Orientation has been one of the nation’s top policy conferences, selling out each year while bringing together lawmakers, policy experts, and engaged citizens from across the political spectrum to discuss critical issues facing the Lone Star State and America. Last year’s Policy Orientation attracted approximately 1,100 attendees including 100 state legislators and hundreds of legislative staff from both sides of the aisle.

This year’s program includes more than 25 panel discussions and debates on the major issues affecting Texas’ future.  The program will be updated with additional events and speakers in the coming weeks. Members of the public and media who wish to attend may register and view the agenda here:


Bill Peacock is the Vice President of Research and Director of the Center for Economic Freedom at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin.

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