other provisions of H.J.R. 33, the timately to the debt service fund and to the water fund. “What this bill does,” Lynaugh continued, “is say, ‘Comptroller, take the actual total receipts and subtract the total authority to spend.’ It doesn’t make any difference whether they’ve encumbered it, whether it’s going to lapse back to general revenue, or what. And it says, `take that figure and this is the surplus.’ It does not limit that process to the general revenue fund. “It’s just my opinion there are more funds than general revenue that are eligible. The Speaker, by citing certain exdon’t disagree really with his examples. But he also talks about some funds that will lapse to general revenue so he recognizes that other funds are involved. Now, which funds, I don’t know. I can’t predict which funds at this point in time.” Lynaugh emphasizes that even those funds which are dedicated by the constitution to pay for highways, public education, textbooks, and the University of Texas could be included. It all depends on whether their revenues exceed their appropriations. In general, he says, “they are not constitutionally excluded.” Lynaugh’s conclusion is reinforced by the comptroller’s “fiscal note estimate.” That report refers to a clause in H.J.R. 33 which states, “this section supersedes the other provisions of this constitution to the extent of any conflict.” Because of this clause and the definition of the surplus, the fiscal note concludes, “it is assumed that the bill would affect all funds in the treasury, statutory and constitutional.” “I don’t know,” says Peveto. “There sure are a lot of unanswered questions.” In addition to these questions, here are several other issues. Before the appropriations process begins, the comptroller certifies how much revenue he estimates will be “eligible for appropriation.” This helps ensure that the legislature will not spend the state into debt and helps the legislature estimate in advance how much money will be left over as the “state surplus.” In several recent bienniums, the comptroller’s revenue estimate was too low. For the most part, this was caused by unexpected oil and gas price increases, which also increase the state’s oil and gas tax receipts. When this happens, the state has an unexpected surplus which the legislature can either spend or rebate as a tax cut during the next session. But under the terms of Clayton’s amendment, this windfall could be channeled automatically into the water, bond, and special reserve funds before the legislature even has a chance to determine how they want to dispose of it. “This scares the hell out of me,” says Peveto. “Suppose the comptroller wants to play a game and he can see that he is going to have an extra $500 million that he won’t certify before we leave here. And then a week after we leave he says, `Oh, by the way, the decontrol of oil, instead of raising an additional $150 million, is going to raise an additional $500 million.’ Zap, over to the fund for water.” “So as it’s written, I think it’s going to have to be rewritten. It can’t go into law like this. And we cannot leave that kind of discretion to any one person.” ED” Under the Clayton plan, the comptroller will not be the only official with that sort of discretion. Suppose the legislature decides to appropriate every dollar that is available. In that case, there will not be a surplus. But if the governor vetoes certain appropriations after the legislature adjourns, the vetoed amounts cannot be spent. Instead, they will become part of the surplus and be automatically transferred to Clayton’s new funds. NW Finally, Peveto suggests that Clayton’s proposed amendment may lead to either new taxes or cuts in vital state services. In the current appropriations process, the surplus from one biennium is available for appropriation during a subsequent biennium. However, if Clayton’s proposal is enacted, the surplus will be transferred to the bond retirement, water, and special reserve funds,-where it will no longer be available for general appropriations. This means that there will be less money for every state program except water projects. As a result, las COMMUNITY ORGAN’ needs organizers to work with income . . crate income families in 16 states for political and economic justice. Direct action on neighborhood deterioration, utility rates. taxes. health care. Tangible results and enduring rewardslong hours and low pay. Training provided. Contact ACORN, 503 West Mary, FREEWHEELING BICYCLES. 2404 San Gabriel. Austin. For whatever your bicycle needs. CHRISTIAN PEACE COMMUNITY i ng “simple-life” forming. Write: Cane Ridge, PO Box 2756, Denton, Texas 76201. THE SAN ANTONIO Democratic League meets the first Thursday of each , month. For information, call Jim Bode at 344-1497, BACKPACKING MOUNTAINEERING RAFTING. Outback Expeditions P.O. Box JOIN THE ACLU. Membership $20, Texas Civil Liberties Union, 600 West 7th, Austin HELP STOP THE MX MISSILE in Texas and New Mexico. American Friends Service Committee is working for disarmament, peace, and justice. Write AF’SC, 1022 W. 6th. Austin 7i3703. A NEW PUBLIC FOUNDATION PRO-VIDING GRANTS TO SOCIAL CHANGE ORGANIZATIONS IN TEXAS is seeking a fulltime senior staff administrator starting May 1, 1981, to coordinate outreach and grant procedures, oversee office and staff opera tions, assist a statewide funding council and committees of the Board. Knowledge of Tex as, self motivation,:ability,< to work indepen dently, experience with grassroots organizations and citizen activism, public speaking. community relations, supervisory and organizational skills required. Fluency in Spanish preferable. Office located in Austin, Texas; some statewide travel necessary. Salary negotiable. Send resume and references to PO Box 4601, Austin, Texas 78765 by APRIL 1, b ..... i sr202thdaily IN RETREAT & HOT SPRI] in private ley. Enjoy room, meals, .$ and exercise classe.' . LIENTE, Box 1l.t Guadalaj ara isco, Mexico. DUGGER, & SON INC. Homebuilding., modeling, additions, repairs, fences. C Gary Dugger at 443-0454 in Austin. POTTERY & BASKETS. Ancient Indi up ; ',Unite BOOK-HUNTING? No obligation search rare or out-of-print books. Ruth and',' River Hills Road, Austin 78746. DO IT REAGAN'S WAY, SCREW' SOMEBODY POOR TODAY all-cotton T-shirts $6.00. bumperstickers $1.00. Specify S. M, L, XL. Order now! T-A .TTOYAC. Box 4112, Austin. Texas 78765. Classified advertising is 30ct per word. Discounts for multiple insertions within a 12 month period: 25 times, 50%; 12 times, 25%; 6 times, 1 0%. 22 MARCH 20, 1981
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