Recent editorials from Texas newspapers

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Beaumont Enterprise. Feb. 8, 2014.

Technology Fund still shaky despite recent gains

It was nice to see that the state’s Emerging Technology Fund gained $30 million in valuation despite bankruptcies or closings by 16 of its companies. But the uptick doesn’t erase underlying problems with Gov. Rick Perry’s pet project - or doubts about whether the state should even be playing venture capitalist to begin with.

Despite the recent gains, as recently as 2012 the fund was valued at just $2.4 million more than taxpayers had invested in it. Most of the companies remaining have reported modest overall job growth.

Throughout its history, the fund has also been dogged by complaints that Perry was using it to reward political donors and keeping Texans in the dark about much of its business. It still needs an independent audit, for that matter.

With Perry’s departure looming, even many Republicans are questioning the wisdom of this venture. Their concern is valid, and the Legislature should take a long, hard look at it in 2015.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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