THE STUMP OCTOBER 23, 2011
What's for lunch today? Once again, nothing at all if you're one of 23,000 inmates in the Texas state prisons, which have decided to eliminate weekend lunch in order to save $2.8 million this year. (Background here.) Yesterday we noted that this amount of savings equated exactly to the sum that Texas paid out to eBay in April from the Enterprise Fund that Rick Perry created in 1993 and that has doled out $440 million in taxpayer funds to companies in exchange for their setting up or expanding in Texas.
So for your lunch special today, here's another recent payout from the Enterprise Fund that is more than equivalent to the amount Texas will save from withholding weekend lunch to 23,000 inmates this year: PETCO, the pet-store chain, received $3.1 million from the fund last November to add 400 jobs at its headquarters in San Antonio. Or, as the press release put it, PETCO will use the money to "establish a satellite support center in San Antonio as an extension of the company’s national support center." The press release continues:
“This TEF investment in PETCO will create hundreds of jobs, pump millions of dollars in capital investment into the area, and further expand San Antonio’s diverse economy,” Gov. Rick Perry said. “Companies like PETCO are looking to Texas as the premier location for business relocation, expansion and job growth thanks to our low taxes, reasonable and predictable regulatory climate and skilled workforce.”
PETCO is a leading pet specialty retailer, with more than 1,000 stores in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. As a result of its strong growth and performance, the company is creating a satellite support center to perform various business support functions in a location that offers reasonably priced real estate, a dynamic, skilled labor pool and a high quality of life.
“After an extensive search for a facility to help us meet our long-term growth requirements, we’re thrilled to select San Antonio for our new support center," PETCO CEO Jim Myers said. "The Texas Enterprise Fund, along with support from various state, county and city leaders, was an important factor in our decision. We look forward to opening the facility next year and expanding PETCO’s presence as an engaged corporate citizen in San Antonio."
So, have a good Sunday, ladies and gentlemen. Breakfast was served from 5 to 7, and dinner's from 4 to 6:30. There's always the commissary.