84(R) - 2015
Relating to the creation and re-creation of funds and accounts, the dedication and rededication of revenue, and the exemption of unappropriated money from use for general governmental purposes.
A fiscal note dated April 7, 2015 indicates that any net gain or loss from the re-creation of existing funds or accounts as exempted in this bill are dependent upon the passage of another act of the 84th Legislature, Regular Session (2015) and are dependent upon appropriations made in the 2016-17 General Appropriations Act.
House Bill 6 would abolish all funds, accounts and revenue dedications that were created or recreated by the regular session of the 84th Legislature.
House Bill 6 would exempt statutory dedications, funds and accounts that were enacted before the 84th Legislature convened to comply with state constitutional or federal law, dedications, funds, or accounts that remained exempt from former section 403.094 (h) of the Government Code, increases in fees or in other revenue dedicated or required to be deposited in a fund or account exempted prior to the regular session of the 84th Legislature.
House Bill 6 would also exempt federal funds, created by the 84th Legislature, for which separate accounting is required by federal law; trust funds or dedicated revenues deposited to trust funds; bond funds and pledged funds; funds or accounts that would be created or re-created by the Texas Constitution or revenue that would be dedicated or rededicated by the Texas Constitution under a constitutional amendment proposed by the 84th Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, or to dedicated revenue deposited to funds or accounts that would be so created or re-created, if the constitutional amendment is approved by the voters: dedicated funds, dedicated accounts, or dedicated revenues newly reauthorized and that were exempt from the funds consolidation before January 1, 2015.
House Bill 6 would amend Section 403.095 of the Government Code related to the use of dedicated revenue to provide that dedicated revenues that, on August 31, 2017, are estimated to exceed the amount appropriated by the General Appropriations Act can be used for general governmental purposes and for the purpose of certification. The Comptroller would be required to reduce each dedicated account that may not exceed the
amount by which estimated revenues and unobligated balances exceed appropriations, with some exceptions.
Vote Recommendation Notes
An amendment was introduced and adopted on the House floor that would list dedicated revenues in several accounts or funds as not available for general governmental purposes nor for certification under Section 403.121. It would also exempt from abolition the re-created Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Fund, the re-created Environmental Radiation and Perpetual Care Account, and the Special Fund for money received from the federal government.
A committee substitute introduced in Senate committee would remove the provision introduced by the amendment regarding the list of dedicated revenues in several accounts or funds as not available for general governmental purposes nor for certification under Section 403.121.
We continue to support this bill.
The second chamber sponsor is Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa.
First chamber recommendation:
House Bill 6 would aim at limiting the number of dedicated funds or accounts and as such would abolish funds and accounts created or re-created, as well as rededications of revenue, for a particular purpose, by an act of the 84th Legislature, unless exempt from consolidation.
House Bill 6 would limit the use of dedicated funds in order to give more flexibility to the Texas Legislature to appropriate funds according to budgetary needs. It would also bring more transparency and honesty to the Texas budget: when revenues are dedicated for a certain purpose but are not appropriated or spent, they can be used to certify the budget. There is hence no guaranty that dedicated funds would indeed be spent for the purpose they were dedicated, instead of being used to certify the budget.
House Bill 6 would make the process of establishing the Texas budget more transparent, and hence encourage a limited government. We support House Bill 6.