Governor Abbott Vetoes House Bill 2788
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Pursuant to Article IV, Section 14, of the Texas Constitution, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, do hereby disapprove of and veto House Bill No. 2788 as passed by the Eighty-Fourth Texas Legislature, Regular Session, because of the following objections:
Texas' prison system and the many county-level correctional facilities across the state should seek to conserve water whenever doing so is consistent with their core purpose-the secure and lawful incarceration of inmates. While water conservation is a worthy goal, House Bill 2788 goes too far by subjecting prisons and jails to the conservation mandates of local water utilities that do not share the correctional facilities' penological mission. Ceding control of the state's correctional facilities' water use to local water utilities creates the potential for interference with a core function of government. If the legislature wishes to require prisons and jails to use less water, it should do so directly rather than outsourcing the decision to local water utilities. Moreover, this bill would mandate unfunded costs on state and local correctional facilities. Any savings touted through reduced water consumption can, and should, be realized today through prudent water conservation measures that are not driven by regulation.
Since the Eighty-Fourth Texas Legislature, Regular Session, by its adjournment has prevented the return of this bill, I am filing these objections in the office of the Secretary of State and giving notice thereof by this public proclamation according to the aforementioned constitutional provision.
View a PDF of the veto here