Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Perry Line-Item Vetoes in HB 1025

Friday, June 14, 2013  •  Austin, Texas  •  Veto Statement

House Bill No. 1025, having been duly certified by the Comptroller of Public Accounts pursuant to Article III, Section 49a of the Texas Constitution, has been presented to me for review and action. I hereby object to and disapprove the following items from House Bill No. 1025, and include a statement of my objections to each of those items.

SECTION 41. CONTINGENCY FOR SB 16: TUITION REVENUE BOND DEBT SERVICE. (a) Contingent upon enactment of SB16 or similar legislation relating to tuition revenue bonds for institutions of higher education by the Eighty-third Legislature, Regular Session, $175,000,000, is appropriated out of the general revenue fund to the Higher Education Coordinating Board for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2015 for distribution to university systems for debt service on tuition revenue bonds for their component institutions.
(b) The Higher Education Coordinating Board shall present a plan for allocation of the appropriations made in subsection (a) to the Legislative Budget Board.
(c) Appropriations made in subsection (a) may not be expended without the prior written approval of the Legislative Budget Board.
(d) The Higher Education Coordinating Board may not expend appropriations made in subsection (a) for administrative expenses.

This veto deletes a contingent rider for a bill that did not pass.

SECTION 48. DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE: CERTAIN REPAIRS. In addition to amounts previously appropriated for the state fiscal biennium ending August 31, 2013, the amount of $5,000,000 is appropriated out of the general revenue fund to the Department of Criminal Justice for Strategy D.1.1, Facilities Construction, as listed in Chapter 1355 (H.B. 1), Acts of the 82nd Legislature, Regular Session, 2011 (the General Appropriations Act), for the two-year period beginning on the effective date of this Act, for the purpose of funding repairs and renovation.

Senate Bill No. 1, the General Appropriations Act, provides sufficient funding to address repair and renovation needs at the Department of Criminal Justice. I therefore object to and disapprove of this appropriation.

SECTION 52. CONSTRUCTION OF FACILITIES FOR STATE AGENCIES. (a) In accordance with Government Code Chapters 1232 and 2166, the Texas Public Finance Authority (TFPA) shall issue revenue bonds on behalf of the Texas Facilities Commission (TFC) in an amount not to exceed $325,586,000 for the purpose of constructing one office building in the Capitol Complex, as defined by Government Code, Chapter 443.0071(b), and one office building and one parking structure in the North Austin Complex, as described in the Facilities Master Plan. The Facilities Commission is appropriated an amount not to exceed $325,586,000 out of Revenue Bond Proceeds in Strategy A.2.1, Facilities Design and Construction, for the fiscal biennium ending August 31, 2015, for the construction of facilities for state agencies, pursuant to Government Code, Section 2166.453.
(b) The Facilities Commission is appropriated $5,193,445 out of the general revenue fund the fiscal biennium ending August 31, 2015 for lease payments (debt service) to the Texas Public Finance Authority for any revenue bonds issued under subsection (a).

Legislation passed by the Eighty-third Legislature, Regular Session, requires the Texas Facilities Commission to coordinate with the State Preservation Board when developing the facilities master plan. Section 52 of House Bill No. 1025 would authorize changes to the Capitol Complex footprint prior to the conclusion of that coordinated effort. I therefore object to and disapprove of this appropriation.

SECTION 55. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS: COMMUNITY-BASED PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION PROGRAMS. In addition to the amounts previously appropriated for the state fiscal biennium ending August 31, 2013, the Department of Housing and Community Affairs is appropriated $1,000,000 from the general revenue fund for the two year period beginning on the effective date of this Act for the purpose of providing one-time facility start-up funds for a settlement house in northeast Houston. Funds appropriated in this section are contingent on Harris County providing the operating costs for the facility and also contingent on the land for the facility being donated.

Management of taxpayer dollars involves a sacred trust between the public and their elected officials. Whenever possible, grants provided to non-State entities should be distributed through a competitive process that is accountable and transparent, and relies on clear goals, benchmarks, and performance guidelines and measures. Section 55 of House Bill No. 1025 includes no such process. I therefore object to and disapprove of this appropriation.

Higher Education Special Item Funding

Special item and certain other non-formula funding at higher education institutions has increased 1,406 percent from $63.7 million in FY 1980-81 to $958.5 million in FY 2012-13. Some special items are initially requested to provide start-up funds for new academic programs, but once funded, they seldom go away. One institution has four "short-term" special items that have been funded for the last thirty years. Institutions are rarely held accountable for these funds, which is why many of them stay in the budget, year after year, even after their purpose is no longer clear. This is not the best use of hard-earned tax dollars. Because of the growth in special item funding, there is less state money to teach college students, which contributes to rising tuition. A better approach, which I recommended in my budget for FY 2014-15, would be to redistribute a substantial portion of special item funding through the formulas for instruction. The remainder would be redistributed to system offices and the independent institutions that are not part of a system for high priority initiatives, including those previously funded as special items.

SECTION 51. UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS AT DALLAS: NEW UNIVERSITY MODEL START-UP. In addition to the amounts previously appropriated for the state fiscal biennium ending August 31, 2013, $1,000,000 is appropriated out of the general revenue fund to the University of North Texas at Dallas for Strategy C.1.1, Transitional Funding, as listed in Chapter 1355 (H.B. 1), Acts of the 82nd Legislature, Regular Session, 2011 (the General Appropriations Act), for the two year period beginning on the effective date of this Act ending August 31, 2013, for the purpose of new university innovation.

If Transitional Funding is a priority, the university can use its $1 million appropriation for Institutional Enhancement.

SECTION 56. PRAIRIE VIEW A&M UNIVERSITY: COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECT. In addition to the amounts previously appropriated for the state fiscal biennium ending August 31, 2013, $150,000 is appropriated out of the general revenue fund to Prairie View A&M University for Strategy C.3.3, Community Development Project, as listed in Chapter 1355 (H.B. 1), Acts of the 82nd Legislature, Regular Session, 2011 (the General Appropriations Act), for the two year period beginning on the effective date of this Act, for the purpose of funding community development projects.

If the Community Development Project is a priority, the university can use its $7.6 million appropriation for Institutional Enhancement.

SECTION 57. PRAIRIE VIEW A&M UNIVERSITY: OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS. In addition to the amounts previously appropriated for the state fiscal biennium ending August 31, 2013, $350,000 is appropriated out of the general revenue fund to Prairie View A&M University for the two year period beginning on the effective date of this Act, for the purpose of funding the Office of International Affairs.

The university did not request this special item in its Legislative Appropriations Request for FY 2014-15. If the Office of International Affairs is a priority, the university can use its $7.6 million appropriation for Institutional Enhancement.

SECTION 58. UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON - DOWNTOWN: COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECT. In addition to the amounts previously appropriated for the state fiscal biennium ending August 31, 2013, $150,000 is appropriated out of the general revenue fund to the University of Houston - Downtown for Strategy C.1.1, Community Development Project, as listed in Chapter 1355 (H.B. 1), Acts of the 82nd Legislature, Regular Session, 2011 (the General Appropriations Act), for the two year period beginning on the effective date of this Act, for the purpose of funding community development projects.

If the Community Development Project is a priority, the university can use its $4.6 million appropriation for Institutional Enhancement.

SECTION 59. UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON: SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS. In addition to the amounts previously appropriated for the state fiscal biennium ending August 31, 2013, $100,000 is appropriated out of the general revenue fund to the University of Houston for Strategy C.2.3, William P. Hobby Jr. School of Public Affairs, as listed in Chapter 1355 (H.B. 1), Acts of the 82nd Legislature, Regular Session, 2011 (the General Appropriations Act), for the two year period beginning on the effective date of this Act, for the purpose of funding the William P. Hobby Jr. School of Public Affairs.

The university did not request this special item in its Legislative Appropriations Request for FY 2014-15. If the William P. Hobby Jr. School of Public Affairs is a priority, the university can use its $6.8 million appropriation for Institutional Enhancement.

SECTION 60. UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN: DEPARTMENT OF MEXICAN-AMERICAN STUDIES. In addition to the amounts previously appropriated for the state fiscal biennium ending August 31, 2013, $1,500,000 is appropriated out of the general revenue fund to the University of Texas at Austin for the two year period beginning on the effective date of this Act for the purpose of funding the Department of Mexican-American Studies.

The university did not request this special item in its Legislative Appropriations Request for FY 2014-15. If the Department of Mexican-American Studies is a priority, the university can use its $2.2 million appropriation for Institutional Enhancement.

SECTION 61. TEXAS A&M INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY: PETROLEUM ENGINEERING. In addition to the amounts previously appropriated for the state fiscal biennium ending August 31, 2013, $2,000,000 is appropriated out of the general revenue fund to the Texas A&M International University for the two year period beginning on the effective date of this Act for the purpose of providing a one-time start-up costs to match local funds for the petroleum engineering program.

If the Petroleum Engineering Program is a priority, the university can use its $11.9 million appropriation for Institutional Enhancement.

I have signed House Bill No. 1025 together with this proclamation stating my objections in accordance with Article IV, Section 14 of the Texas Constitution.

Since the Legislature by its adjournment of the Regular Session has prevented the return of this bill, I am filing this bill and these objections in the office of the Secretary of State and giving notice thereof by this public proclamation according to the aforementioned constitutional provision.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have signed my name officially and caused the Seal of the State to be affixed hereto at Austin, this 14th day of June, 2013.

RICK PERRY
Governor of Texas

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