Bill Text: TX SJR54 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Proposing a constitutional amendment limiting appropriations from the economic stabilization fund to prevent the fund balance from falling below a prescribed minimum amount, other than in an emergency if certain requirements are met, and limiting the permissible uses of that appropriated money.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-14 - Referred to Finance [SJR54 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-SJR54-Introduced.html
  86R4606 SRA-D
 
  By: Perry S.J.R. No. 54
 
 
 
A JOINT RESOLUTION
  proposing a constitutional amendment limiting appropriations from
  the economic stabilization fund to prevent the fund balance from
  falling below a prescribed minimum amount, other than in an
  emergency if certain requirements are met, and limiting the
  permissible uses of that appropriated money.
         BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 49a, Article III, Texas Constitution, is
  amended by amending Subsection (b) and adding Subsections (c), (d),
  and (e) to read as follows:
         (b)  Except in the case of emergency and imperative public
  necessity and with a four-fifths vote of the total membership of
  each House:
               (1)  an [, no] appropriation in excess of the cash and
  anticipated revenue of the funds from which the [such]
  appropriation is to be made is not [shall be] valid; and
               (2)  an appropriation from the economic stabilization
  fund is not valid unless the Comptroller of Public Accounts
  determines the appropriation will not exceed the limitation on
  appropriations from that fund prescribed by Section 49-g(g-1) of
  this article.
         (c)  A [No] bill containing an appropriation is not [shall
  be] considered as passed and may not [or] be sent to the Governor
  for consideration until and unless the Comptroller of Public
  Accounts endorses the Comptroller's [his] certificate on the bill
  [thereon] showing that, subject to the exception provided by
  Subsection (b) of this section:
               (1)  the amount appropriated is within the amount
  estimated to be available in the affected funds; and
               (2)  if the bill appropriates an amount from the
  economic stabilization fund, the appropriated amount, when added to
  other amounts appropriated from the economic stabilization fund in
  bills certified under this subdivision, will not exceed the
  limitation on appropriations from that fund prescribed by Section
  49-g(g-1) of this article.
         (d)  In determining whether to certify a bill under
  Subsection (c)(2) of this section, the Comptroller of Public
  Accounts:
               (1)  shall consider the Comptroller's estimate of the
  unappropriated balance of the economic stabilization fund as of the
  first day of the period for which the appropriation is authorized,
  the estimated amount and timing of anticipated interest to be
  credited to the economic stabilization fund during the period for
  which the appropriation is authorized, and the estimated amounts
  and timing of anticipated transfers to the economic stabilization
  fund during that period that are required by Sections 49-g(b), (c),
  (d), and (e) of this article; and
               (2)  may not consider actual or anticipated transfers
  of money to or from the economic stabilization fund authorized by
  Section 49-g(j) of this article.
         (e)  When the Comptroller of Public Accounts finds that the
  Comptroller cannot make the certification required by Subsection
  (c)(1) or (2) of this section and the exception provided by
  Subsection (b) of this section does not apply, the Comptroller [an
  appropriation bill exceeds the estimated revenue he] shall endorse
  the [such] finding on the bill [thereon] and return the bill to the
  House in which the bill [same] originated. The finding immediately 
  [Such information] shall be [immediately] made known to both the
  House of Representatives and the Senate and the necessary steps, as
  applicable, shall be taken to bring the [such] appropriation to
  within:
               (1)  the estimated revenue, either by providing
  additional revenue or reducing the appropriation; or
               (2)  an amount that, when added to other amounts
  appropriated from the economic stabilization fund in bills
  certified under Subsection (c)(2) of this section, will not exceed
  the limitation on appropriations from that fund prescribed by
  Section 49-g(g-1) of this article.
         SECTION 2.  Section 49-g, Article III, Texas Constitution,
  is amended by adding Subsections (g-1), (g-2), and (g-3) and
  amending Subsection (m) to read as follows:
         (g-1)  Except as provided by Subsection (g-2) of this
  section, the total amount of appropriations of money from the
  economic stabilization fund for all or any part of a state fiscal
  biennium may not exceed the estimated maximum amount the
  comptroller determines may be appropriated so that the
  unappropriated balance of the economic stabilization fund at all
  times during the biennium is an amount equal to at least 7.5 percent
  of the amount of the biennial state taxes and fees general revenue
  estimate provided in advance of the regular legislative session
  preceding that biennium. For purposes of this subsection,
  "biennial state taxes and fees general revenue estimate" means the
  amount of revenue stated in the comptroller's estimate provided in
  advance of the regular legislative session as required by Section
  49a(a) of this article that, based on the laws in effect at the time
  the estimate is made, is anticipated to be received by and for the
  state from collections of taxes and fees the revenue from which is
  anticipated to be deposited to the credit of the general revenue
  fund and is not set aside by law for a particular purpose or entity.
  The term does not include probable changes to that anticipated
  revenue as shown in supplemental statements submitted in accordance
  with Section 49a(a) of this article.
         (g-2)  The limitation on appropriations prescribed by
  Subsection (g-1) of this section does not apply in a case of
  emergency and imperative public necessity and with a four-fifths
  vote of the total membership of each house of the legislature.
         (g-3)  The authority to make an appropriation from the
  economic stabilization fund under Subsection (k), (l), or (m) of
  this section is subject to the endorsement of the comptroller's
  certificate under Section 49a(c)(2) of this article.
         (m)  In addition to the appropriation authority provided by
  Subsections (k) and (l) of this section, the legislature may, by a
  two-thirds vote of the members present in each house, appropriate
  amounts from the economic stabilization fund to:
               (1)  retire state debt;
               (2)  pay costs associated with a state of disaster
  declared by the governor; or
               (3)  pay nonrecurring costs of infrastructure projects
  [at any time and for any purpose].
         SECTION 3.  The following temporary provision is added to
  the Texas Constitution:
         TEMPORARY PROVISION.  (a) This temporary provision applies
  to the constitutional amendment proposed by the 86th Legislature,
  Regular Session, 2019, limiting appropriations from the economic
  stabilization fund to a total amount that the comptroller of public
  accounts estimates will not result at any time in a fund balance of
  less than a prescribed minimum amount, other than in an emergency if
  certain requirements are met, and limiting the permissible uses of
  that appropriated money.
         (b)  The amendments made to Sections 49a and 49-g, Article
  III, of this constitution take effect January 1, 2021, and apply
  only to an appropriation made for all or part of a state fiscal year
  beginning on or after September 1, 2021.
         (c)  This temporary provision expires January 1, 2022.
         SECTION 4.  This proposed constitutional amendment shall be
  submitted to the voters at an election to be held November 5, 2019.
  The ballot shall be printed to provide for voting for or against the
  proposition: "The constitutional amendment limiting
  appropriations from the economic stabilization fund ("rainy day
  fund") to a total amount that the comptroller of public accounts
  estimates will not result at any time in a fund balance of less than
  a prescribed minimum amount, other than in an emergency if certain
  requirements are met, and limiting the permissible uses of that
  appropriated money."
feedback