More proposed amendments
Thu April 16, 2009 2:03 am

Note: This is my numbering system. It may not correspond with that of the House.

#2 (author illegible) authorizes the director and senior staff of the yet to be created Cancer Prevention and Research Institute to have their salaries supplemented by a yet to be created foundation that will benefit the Institute. (acceptable to the author)

#3 (Truitt) provides the Comptroller with $15 million to administer and collect the local option fuels taxes and fees. (acceptable to the author)

#4 (Otto) appropriates $25M to the Major Events Trust Fund, which would be established by a McCall bill and would be used to attract major sporting events, such as the World Cup or the NCAA Final Four. (acceptable to the author)

#5 (Otto) appropriates $25M for a JET program (Jobs and Education for Texas) for grants for students to be trained for high-demand jobs, including the startup costs for career and technical programs. (acceptable to the author)

#6 (Kent) instructs the Comptroller to prepare a report on the historical use of General Revenue dedicated funds. (acceptable to the author)

#7 (Guillen) instructs the Comptroller to prepare a report on a four-day work week for state employees. (acceptable to the author)

#8 (Pickett) appropriates approximately $1.6 million for the purpose of salary increases and additional personnel for the Poison Call Control Center.

#9 (Chisum) appropriates $60M in each year of the biennium from general revenue for the purpose of creating and maintaining the Dedicated Emergency Infrastructure.

#10 (illegible) directs the Employees Retirement System to make a good faith effort to hire minority fund managers, provided that the ERS has any money left (just kidding).

#11 (Villareal) requires the Ethics Commission to post the personal financial statements of members and candidates on the Internet.

#12 (Dunnam) is similar to #11

#13 (Rodriguez) authorizes the Texas Facilities Commission to sell or trade underutilized property for the purpose of acquiring property near the French Legation, which would become the Republic of Texas Museum.

#14 (Strama, as best I can determine) states the intent of the Legislature that not less than 70% of the research superiority grants awarded from the governor’s Emergency Technology Fund be for clean energy research and development.

#15 (illegible) establishes a prohibition on using money from the Enterprise Fund or the Emerging Technology Fund to reward failed firms that received TARP federal bailout funds.

#16 (Hodge) establishes a similar prohibition on using the Enterprise or Emergency Technology Fund to firms that within the past twelve months laid of 25 or more workers while awarding bonuses to executives.

#17 (Marquez) has identical language to #16.

#18 (illegible) prohibits payments from the aforementioned funds to any firm whose officers or director made a political contribution to the governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker within the last two years.

#19 (Hopson) Directs that $17+M in criminal justice funds be used for the prevention and prosecution of drug trafficking.

#20 (illegible) Requires that not less than $10M nor more than $15M be granted from the Emerging Technology and/or Enterprise funds for an economic development project that is located within a ten-mile radius of a major military hospital, military base, or military installation. In addition, the rider requires the construction of a facility for police, fire, and emergency personnel; construction of a facility that complements a previous grant or grants made from the two funds; and some form of renewable energy in its design. Can you say “EARMARK?”

#21 (illegible) mandates that if the bills that allow Texas to qualify for the $555M in stimulus funds for unemployed workers fail to pass, the $136M appropriated to the Enterprise Fund may not be expended and the Comptroller shall deposit $136M in the Employment and Investment Holding Fund (which pays for unemployment claims). These restrictions on what some would call the governor’s slush funds indicate the degree of dissatisfaction with the governor in the House.

This is only the beginning of the efforts to redirect appropriations to the governor’s office. Wait until we get to Article II. More to come on Thursday.

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