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Fighting Back: Senator Tries To Lure Texas Companies To California

AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) - A California lawmaker has turned the tables on Texas – declaring it open season on Texas jobs.

On Monday, California Senator Ted Gaines stood out in front of the Texas State Capitol and said, "I'm fighting back."

"Let's put it this way," said Gaines. "I believe in friendly competition."

Earlier this month, Governor Rick Perry went California to promote Texas' business climate, including driving around the California State Capitol in a Tesla.

Texas and California are on the short list of locations the electric car company is looking at to build a massive battery factory that will result in 6,500 new jobs.

Gaines has authored a bill in his state that would provide financial incentives in hopes of enticing Tesla to choose California. He said, "We need to show Tesla that we'll cut through the red tape that frustrates California companies and prove that we are open for business."

Texas is also using financial incentives to aggressively recruit the electric car company.

"Governor Perry is a strong believer in competition and welcomes the comparison between our state's business climate and California's," said the Governor's spokesman Felix Browne. "The Texas approach of low taxes, fair courts, reasonable regulations and a skilled workforce has allowed Texas to create 37-percent of all new private sector jobs in America since 2001. Employers make decisions based on facts and the facts show that Texas has the best business climate in the nation."

In recent years several California companies have relocated to Texas, including Toyota that early this year announced it's moving its corporate headquarters to Plano.

HID, a high-tech company that makes most of the world's digital access card systems, is also in the process of moving its headquarters from California to Texas.

HID Vice President Jason Bohrer said when the company looked to consulate facilities Texas stood out because of its low labor rates, affordable real estate, and the fact that the state doesn't have an income tax. "When you start to look at some of the financial implications about trying to do business in the long term in California it has some restrictions. So that's what lead us to Texas."

The technology company is moving nearly 400 jobs to its new 250,000-sqare-foot headquarters and manufacturing center in Austin. This is the type of exodus Gaines is trying to stop.

Tuesday, Gaines will take his jobs campaign to Dallas where he's schedule to meet with the Dallas Chamber of Commerce.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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