2020 Op. Tex. Att'y Gen. 1 (2020)

handle is hein.sag/sagtx0222 and id is 1 raw text is: 





                                     KEN PAXTON
                                 ATTORNEY  GENERAL OF TEXAS



                                      January 2, 2020



The Honorable  Garnet F. Coleman              Opinion No.  KP-0280
Chair, Committee on County Affairs
Texas House  of Representatives               Re:  Distribution of county transportation grant
Post Office Box 2910                          funds appropriated under Senate Bill 500
Austin, Texas 78768-2910                      (RQ-0295-KP)

Dear Representative Coleman:

       You ask about the proper allocation formula for distribution of county transportation grant
funds appropriated to the Transportation Infrastructure Fund (Fund) under Senate Bill 500.' See
Act of May 26, 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., ch. 465,  78, 2019 Tex. Sess. Law Serv. 891, 905 (Senate
Bill 500). Administered by the Texas Department of Transportation (Department), the Fund
provides grants to counties for transportation infrastructure projects located in areas of the state
affected by increased oil and gas production. TEX. TRANSP. CODE   256.103(a); see also id.
   256.101-.108 (Subchapter C, chapter 256, governing the Transportation Infrastructure Fund).

       Two  bills from the 86th Legislature prompt your question. See Request Letter at 1. Senate
Bill 500 makes a supplemental appropriation of $125,000,000, effective June 6, 2019, to the Fund.
See Senate Bill 500,  78, 88.  House  Bill 4280, effective September 1, 2019, changes the
distribution formula for the Department to allocate Fund grants. See Act of May 26, 2019, 86th
Leg., R.S., ch. 1322,  1, 4, 2019 Tex. Sess. Law Serv. 3885, 3885-86 (House Bill 4280) (to
be codified at TEX. TRANSP. CODE  256.103(b)). Given the difference in effective dates for these
two bills, you ask whether the funds from the supplemental appropriation should be allocated for
grants to counties under the distribution formula contained in the present statute or should it be
allocated under the provisions that will be effective on September 1, 2019[.] Request Letter at 1.
Because September  1, 2019, has now passed, we refer to the pre-September 1 distribution formula
as the previous formula and to the post-September 1 formula as the present distribution formula.

       In making the supplemental appropriation to the Fund, the Legislature did not limit the
expenditure of the additional funds to the)2018-2019 fiscal biennium. See Senate Bill 500,  78.
Senate Bill 500 makes supplemental appropriations to myriad programs, and in it the Legislature
set the period of each appropriation. See id.  1-87. In several appropriations, the Legislature
provided that they were for the state fiscal year ending August 31, 2019. Id.  11, 13, 24. In


        'Letter from Honorable Garnet F. Coleman, Chair, House Comm. on Cty. Affairs, to Honorable Ken Paxton,
 Tex. Att'y Gen. at I (rec'd July 18, 2019), https://www2.texasattorneygeneral.gov/opinion/requests-for-opinion-rqs
 (Request Letter).

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