Texas Department of Commerce

By: John G. Johnson

Type: General Entry

Published: September 1, 1995

Updated: August 5, 2020

The Texas Department of Commerce was established by the Seventieth Legislature in 1987. Effective September 1, 1987, eight state agencies, boards, and commissions were consolidated as the Texas Department of Commerce. On December 1, 1987, the Job Training Partnership Act and the Community Development Block Grant programs were transferred from the Texas Department of Community Affairs. The goals of the agency are to attract new businesses to Texas, to encourage expansion of existing businesses, and to improve rural economic development. Initially the department was under the direction of a six-member policy board with members appointed by the governor, with the consent of the Senate, to six-year overlapping terms. In 1991 three ex officio members, from the State Job Training Coordinating Council, the International Trade Commission, and the Texas-Mexico Authority, were added. An executive director is appointed by the governor to two year terms. Also in 1991 the legislature changed the board from governing to advisory and specifically prohibited it from involvement in the department's daily operations. In September 1991 the Community Block Grant program was transferred to the Department of Housing and Community Affairs and the music, film, television, and multimedia programs to the governors office. In 1989 the legislature authorized and funded foreign offices in six nations, a rural economic development fund, a product commercialization fund, and an exporters loan guaranty program. Added in 1991 were a Texas-Mexico development fund, a rural economic development program to enhance economic development with Mexico, and a Texas-Mexico database. As of 1992 the commission had the following six divisions: business development, tourism, work force development, research and planning, intergovernmental relations, and communications. In 1992 it had 318 employees and appropriations of $254,486,306.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

John G. Johnson, “Texas Department of Commerce,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 19, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/texas-department-of-commerce.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 1, 1995
August 5, 2020