Senator Hinojosa recognizes that small businesses are what fuels Texas’ economic engine, as they employ one out of every two Texans. As Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Hinojosa has put small businesses at the forefront of Texas’ economic future. In the 2019 legislative session, as Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Hinojosa was instrumental in securing $16 million to the Jobs and Education for Texans Program (JET) fund for the development of career and technical education programs at 10 public junior colleges, public technical institutes, and ISDs.
In addition to supporting small business funding, Senator Hinojosa has advocated for numerous pieces of legislation benefiting small businesses:
- Passed SB 1748 (85R) help reduce unemployment and increase Texas’ pool of skilled laborers by allowing for economic development corporations (EDCs) of Hidalgo County to use tax revenues for skills training programs;
- Authored SB 154 (85R) which led to a pilot program administered by the Texas Workforce Commission called the “Workforce Career & Technical Education Outreach Specialist Pilot Program.” The program places local Workforce Career Specialists in area middle and high schools (grades 6-12) to provide career guidance and workforce information to students. The mission is to ensure students get the exposure and awareness to career resources today that empower them to gain degree certifications, graduate with marketable skills, and minimize student debt in the future;
- Voted for HB 32 (84R) which permanently reduced the primary Franchise tax rates from 1.0 to 0.75 percent and from 0.5 to 0.375 percent of taxable margin (for entities engaged in retail or wholesale trade);
- Authored SB 100 (84R) to allow small businesses to participate in the Texas Enterprise Zone Program (TEZ), one of Texas’ most successful economic development programs. The program provides sales-tax refunds and credits to businesses that create jobs and invest in economically distressed communities;
- Authored SB 1351 (84R) to transfer the administration of the JET program to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) in an effort to bolster the TWC’s capacity-building mission and better prepare out-of-work Texans for jobs;
- Passed HB 3714 (83R) to create the Office of Small Business Assistance Advisory Task Force to identify barriers that hurt Texas job creators and to propose measures to improve small business creation in Texas;
- Voted for HB 4765 (81R) which the total revenue amount at which a small business would ow no Franchise tax to $1 million from $300,000. This legislation nearly tripled the franchise tax exception for small businesses;
- Passed HB 3519 (81R) allowed the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to coordinate and administer the Texas Career Opportunity Grant Program. The purpose of this program is to help ensure a qualified workforce to meet the needs of this state by reducing financial barriers to postsecondary career education and training for economically disadvantaged Texans by providing grants to eligible students attending an eligible career school or college; and
- Authored HB 1125 (68R) (the Texas Enterprise Zone Act) which created the Texas Enterprise Zone Program that stimulates statewide investment.