Governor Abbott vetoes HB 1053
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. 1053 as passed by the Eighty-Sixth Texas Legislature, Regular Session, because of the following objections:
House Bill 1053 has two fatal flaws:
First, it would exempt the Willacy County Navigation District from competitive bidding requirements applicable to all other navigation districts, allowing it to donate, exchange, convey, sell, or lease a real property interest for less than reasonable market value and without providing public notice. This exception to the general laws of our State would unnecessarily undermine the tenets of transparency.
Second, it would authorize the Port of Harlingen Authority to impose an ad valorem tax. The end-of-session addition of this power was not properly vetted through the legislative process and did not receive a public hearing. While likely not the intent of this bill’s author or sponsor, this would set a bad example for how special districts can evade statutory and legislative oversight in the future.
Since the Eighty-Sixth 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.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have signed my name officially and caused the Seal of the State to be affixed hereto at Austin, this 15th day of June, 2019.