LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Texas State Comptroller made a stop in East Texas to talk about the facts and the future of Texas.
Susan Combs, Comptroller of Public Accounts, discussed health care, education spending, and federal regulations and other issues that will shape the future of the Lone Star State.
Lufkin and Nacogdoches was two of her four stops across the state for the day.
While at Lufkin City Hall Tuesday afternoon, Combs said right now Texas has the best shape (referring to the shape of Texas) and Texas is in the best financial shape.
The comptroller said the state has been more than fortunate, late to enter the recession and early to recover, Texas continues to be a great part of the nation's economy, but there are challenges.
"I wanted to come here to talk about a potential threat coming to our economy. If you have $15 trillion in national debt, then you have $1 trillion in the annual deficit, plus a very large expensive Medicaid program, what that's going to do is force the locals to be more efficient, effective and innovative, so that's what I want to show today. Folks, you may be doing a fabulous job now, but you maybe have to do an even more fabulous job," Combs said.
The state is encouraging school districts, local and county officials to think smarter when it comes to handling debt and look for opportunities to save money, a few thing the comptroller believes will keep Texas' economy strong in the future.
Combs said, "Texas is growing, we are so lucky to have this much economic activity, but it does mean that there is always some kind of limiter."
She says if the citizens of Texas understand the complex interactions and events that make up the economy they can keep it strong as well.
"As a citizen become engaged. See what you can do to come to the table and help think about smart practices, smart things to do so that levels of government can cooperate with each other, cities, counties, etc., because they can share buildings, they can share office space, they can share purchasing programs," she explained.
Comptroller Combs said there will challenges that no one can control, but she encouraged city and county leaders to deal with the things that can be controlled.
Combs also explained why she has great confidence in East Texas and it's thriving economy.
She said, "This portion of the state, the Lufkin and Nacogdoches area is growing, you're blessed with water supplies which can allow you to be sort of a major provider for others. You are well positioned for growth for the next multi-decades, and that's exciting, other parts of the state aren't so lucky."