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Summary: Currently, the Texas Clean Air Act runs a program that collects fees for vehicle emissions inspections. This money goes into a fund to be allocated to non-attainment counties for use in vehicle-related local projects pertaining to air quality. Right now the amount that the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality is allowed to allocate from this fund each year is $5 million. HB 2859 would increase this limit to $10 million.
Analysis: The fund is currently growing much faster than it can be spent under the current cap. HB 2859 would allow dedicated funds to be used for their dedicated purpose instead of accumulating in a fund and not being used. The problem, however, may not be that the program can't spend the money fast enough. The problem may be that the program takes in too much money. A better approach would be to lower the fees and allow the fund only to grow at a rate that keeps the fund from outpacing the current spending cap. We are neutral on this legislation.