Abbott Against the Environment

The governor vetoed $127 million out of the state’s budget Monday, mostly for environmental initiatives

Greg Abbott
Greg Abbott (by John Anderson)

Air and water quality, and programs to help the state's poorest people get clean air and clean water, came into Gov. Greg Abbott's cross-hairs Monday when he line-item vetoed $127 million out of the state's $217 billion budget for the 2018-19 biennium. Earlier in the session, Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, had written that "budgets are moral documents." Abbott's cuts to Texas' spending show where his priorities lie:

• $87 million for the Low-Income Vehicle Repair Assist­ance, Retrofit, and Accelerated Vehicle Retirement Program, which helps poorer Texans repair or replace a car that fails the state emissions test

• $6 million for air quality planning at the Texas Com­mis­sion on Environmental Quality

• $5 million for the Guardianship Compliance Project

• $5 million for public safety education

• $4 million for Crime Stoppers of Houston

• $2.5 million for Soil and Water Conservation Board

• $2 million for aquifer and brackish water study

• $860,0000 to fund the Colonia Initiatives Program

• $150,000 for the UT-Austin Legislative Lawyering Clinic

So far, the budget is the only work by the Legislat­ure that Abbott has vetoed, but he still has a June 18 deadline to strike other approved measures. In 2015, after his first session as governor, Abbott went on a 42-bill slaughter spree, and hacked $295 million out of spending.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Greg Abbott, Rafael Anchia, Cyrus Reed, 85th Lege

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