Line Item Veto Eliminates Legislative Funding
Gov. Greg Abbott followed through on his threat to veto appropriations for the Texas Legislature. The Governor’s June 18 veto proclamation for Senate Bill 1 eliminates funding for the entire legislative branch of government for the two-year budget that begins Sept. 1. Vetoed funding totals $410.4 million in All Funds and $410.2 million in General Revenue Funds. If funding is not restored, lay-offs of staff in both chambers and at legislative agencies that provide essential support during the legislative session, like the Texas Legislative Council and the Legislative Budget Board, will occur. For a complete list of all legislative agencies affected by this veto, see the veto proclamation for SB 1.
In his proclamation, Abbott points to the Legislature walking away from “unfinished business” as the rationale for the veto. The Governor has said he will call a special session to take up unfinished business from the 87th Legislative Session, such as election and bail reform. The funding for the Legislature is expected to be restored during this special session.
If the veto were to stand, members of the Legislature would likely continue to receive their monthly pay of $600 and per diem reimbursement because the authority for this compensation is in the Texas Constitution (see Article III, Section 24).
For more information about this article, contact Zelma Smith.