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Authorizing the State Preservation Board to approve and permit the construction of a monument at the state Capitol Complex, at a site outside the historic Capitol grounds, honoring Texans who served during the Global War on Terror as part of the United States armed forces and their families.
SCR 24 would authorize the State Preservation Board (SPB) to approve and permit the construction of a monument at the state Capitol Complex that commemorates Texans who served during the Global War on Terror. The monument would be privately funded.
Private funds are supposed to cover the cost for building this monument, but given the SPB's recent record of quoting one cost and then later substantially increasing the cost after the private funds were raised, we are apprehensive that government funds may be used to fund part of this monument.
By way of further background we note that an amendment to the House supplemental appropriations bill was offered to help cover the remaining cost of another monument commemorating firefighters. The SPB originally issued a quote for the creation of the firefighter statue. Fundraisers met and exceeded that number only to later have the SPB revise its initial estimate upwards. The house budget amendment was to backfill the gap between the original quote and the revised quote.
In our view it is a good thing to memorialize those who have fought and died in the cause of protecting and expanding liberty for our nation and for our friends and allies around the world. Therefore we support this legislation to allow for a privately funded liberty-oriented monument to be placed on the Capitol grounds. However, bearing in mind the recent history of the firefighters monument we are wary of claims that this monument will indeed be fully funded by private donations, as it should be.
While we support SCR 24 we do suggest an amendment that would help to avoid repeating the above mentioned scenario. To encourage the SBP to give a full cost quote up front and not later revise it upward after funds have been raised, this legislation should stipulate that if the SBP increases the price after fundraisers meet the budget for the original quote, the SPB would be required to cover the difference out of its own operating budget.