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Legislature Takes Federal Funds Into Its Own Hands

Last week, House and Senate budget negotiators had stripped the budget legislation of protections for over $16 billion in federal relief for Texas public education. Notably, the final budget language had gotten rid of the Morrison Rider, which would have given the Legislature authority to disperse federal American Rescue Plan monies. Without that language, Gov. Abbott had sole discretion in distributing the funds.

According to a Quorum Report story on Monday, budget negotiators are planning on filing a budget rider giving the Legislature the authority to distribute the funds, instead of giving the governor unilateral decision making power.

The move comes after legislators from both sides of the aisle spoke out against giving the governor that level of authority.

Lyle Larson tweeted last week, “The Morrison amendment, voted unanimously out of the house, allowing the entire legislature to decide how federal stimulus money would be used through out the state was stripped in the budget reconciliation with the Senate. The disrespect shown will put us in a special session.”

According to the Quorum Report, the “new language would necessitate another appropriations bill this fall when the Legislature is expected to convene in a special session focused on redistricting.”

To read the expected rider language, click here.

RA Staff
RA Staff
Written by RA News staff.


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