Texas governor Greg Abbott did sign our state’s two-year budget, but he vetoed millions of dollars of funding for a number of things, including environmental and public assistance programs along the border.
The approved budget is $217 billion dollars, as laid out be the Legislature. But Abbott cut $120 million with the line-item veto.
“This budget funds a life-saving overhaul of Child Protective Services, continues to fund the state’s role in securing our border, and ensures that the workforce of today and tomorrow have the resources they need to keep Texas’ economy growing and thriving,” Abbott said.
Abbott vetoed $87 million for the “Low Income Vehicle Repair Assistance Program,” as he didn’t think it had done much in the past to help with air quality. He also cut $6 million for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s air planning programs. Abbott feels that much of the work of this Commission can be done as well or better at a local level. $2 million was cut for a proposed study of brackish groundwater. $150,000 was cut from a Legislative Law Clinic at UT, and a variety of other smaller programs.
Governor Abbott’s environmental vetoes were made possible by an opinion from the AG Ken Paxton regarding certain kinds of budget riders that are directives to agencies without making appropriations.