Saturday, March 28, 2009

Perry routes funds from Unemployment Insurance to alma mater

The Quorum Report covers what happened yesterday afternoon in the dust-up between Gov. 39% and House Appropriations Chair Pitts over Perry's possibly improper allocation of $50 million to A&M.

It appears that not only were the funds sent to A&M outside of the usual process, but also the money came at least indirectly from the Unemployment Insurance Fund. Pitts expressed concern about the way the money was acquired and routed and proposed "riders that will rein in
Governor's discretion to transfer monies between trustee programs."

In the introduction to their special report (the entire report is available to their subscribers only), Quorum traces the route the money took: " The connection is indirect but at the same time fairly evident. Statute requires the Texas Workforce Commission to transfer $120 million from the unemployment insurance fund to the Employment and Training Investment Assessment fund. The money is then divvied between a skills development program and the Texas Enterprise Fund. As has been reported, $50 million was transferred from the enterprise fund to the Emerging Technology Fund, which awarded the money to A&M."

As this story continues to unfold--and as reporters continue to cover it--it means negative publicity for Perry continues.

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