Masthead Graphic
Press Release
July 22, 2015
Contact: Jennifer Saenz
(512) 463-0120 office
(512) 497-9411 cell
Senator Hinojosa's Statement on Gov. Abbott's
Line-Item Vetoes to the State Budget

AUSTIN, TX - Late yesterday, Legislative Budget Board Director Ursula Parks sent a letter to Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar concerning Governor Abbott's line-item vetoes of riders to the state budget. The letter stated that the Governor's veto proclamation, listing line items he chose to eliminate from the budget, goes beyond what is authorized in the Texas Constitution, is unprecedented, and is contrary to both practice and expectation.

Senator Hinojosa issued the following statement:

"I am expressing my concerns regarding Governor Abbott's line-item vetoes.

Our Texas Constitution is clear -- very specific and limited powers are granted to the Governor with respect to vetoing appropriations. The significant power to veto "items of appropriation" is afforded, but not the authority to amend or veto legislative direction or intent. In addition, in 1911 the Texas Supreme Court has ruled that the Governor's veto authority is limited only to that found in the Constitution, Article 4, Section 14. This decision remains good law and has been cited in various Attorney General opinions.

Allowing the Governor's line-item vetoes of riders would significantly expand the power of the Governor by allowing not only legislative appropriations to be vetoed, but also non-appropriation provisions of legislative direction and intent. The issue is not one of spending, but the issue of protecting the Constitution and the separation of powers of our executive, judicial and legislative branches under our Constitution."

Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa proudly represents the counties of Nueces, Jim Wells, Brooks, and Hidalgo (part). Senator Hinojosa served as the Senate President Pro Tempore of the Texas Senate in the 84th Texas Legislature. Senator Hinojosa currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and serves on the Senate Committees on Natural Resources & Economic Development, Criminal Justice, Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs as well as the Legislative Budget Board (LBB), and the Sunset Advisory Commission.