Texas House OKs reduction of diverted funds

By: From Wire Reports
By: From Wire Reports

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The House has approved reducing by $800 million the amount of special dedication funds lawmakers can use to balance the budget.

Passed by a voice vote, the bill caps the amount of dedicated funds eligible at $4 billion from $4.8 billion.

Those funds come from millions spent annually by Texans on specialty license plates. They are supposed to support things like state parks and environmental groups.

But lawmakers instead divert them to other areas of the budget. In the 2012-13 budget alone, the Legislature diverted nearly $5 billion.

Dayton Republican Rep. John Otto, one of the bill's sponsors, said "the goal is to wean us off" dedicated funds, and instead use them for their intended purpose.

Democrats, though, wondered if this could cause cuts to other parts of the budget.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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