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Relating to the continuation of the Trade Agricultural Inspection Grant Program.
Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for HB 1371, Committee Report 2nd House, Substituted: a negative impact of ($500,000) through the biennium ending August 31, 2023.
The Texas Department of Agriculture is required to implement a provision of this Act only if the legislature appropriates money specifically for that purpose. If the legislature does not appropriate money specifically for that purpose, the Texas Department of Agriculture may, but is not required to, implement a provision of this Act using other appropriations available for that purpose.
The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill.
HB 1371 would extend until 2025 the Trade Agricultural Inspection Grant Program which would otherwise expire September 1, 2021. The purpose of this program is to help expedite cross-border agricultural trade to more efficiently get agricultural goods from Mexico to market in the United States through Texas ports of entry. The Senate Committee Substitute amended the bill to specify that the Texas Department of Agriculture is only required to implement this bill if money is appropriated by the legislature for it.
As we noted when the pilot program was under consideration in the 86th Legislature, if the United States government can not timely process perishable agricultural goods across the international border, Texas has a legitimate interest in helping facilitate the process. Ideally, this would be accomplished properly at the federal level. However, if Texas must ride to the rescue of failed federal border policy we will not oppose it. Texas Action is neutral on HB 1371.