Chad’s Morning Brief: Greg Abbott Proposes Plan to Do Away With the Emerging Technology Fund, Public Integrity Unit Ends Investigation of Paxton, and Other Top Stories
Here is your Morning Brief for January 30, 2015.
Abbott's New Plan
Governor Greg Abbott announced his plans yesterday to do away with Texas' Emerging Technology Fund and to instead focus money on helping universities recruit researchers. According to the Houston Chronicle, Abbott wants Texas to be the home of future research centers.
"My plan will enhance Texas' ability to recruit nationally recognized researchers, promote economic development, and serve as a significant step toward ensuring Texas is home to five of the top 10 public universities in the nation," Abbott said in a news release, reiterating a priority he rolled out in December. "Texas will be home of the research centers and great minds that will transform the next generation."
Abbott's proposal, which requires lawmakers' approval, would eliminate the Emerging Technology Fund, transfer its portfolio to money managers in the comptroller's office and evenly split the dollars it has not yet doled out. That balance stands at just over $100 million, according to an Abbott spokeswoman.
Half the remaining funds would go to a newly established Governor's University Research Initiative. That program would offer matching funds to help the state lure Nobel Laureates and members of the National Academy from outside Texas to public universities in the state.
The other half of the leftover money would be sent to the Texas Enterprise Fund, one of Perry's so-called "deal-closing funds" used to entice businesses considering a move to Texas. The office of Abbott, who has expressed unease with how the Enterprise Fund operates, reiterated Thursday he wants to work with legislators to improve its "transparency, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness."
Not a big surprise here that Abbott would hit the technology fund. During his campaign, Abbott often spoke on how government should not be picking winners and losers. This is a plan I think many colleges and universities will get behind.
During the election season Democrats attempted to make it sound as though Attorney General Ken Paxton would be prosecuted if he were to win. According to the Texas Tribune though, the state's public integrity unit will not be prosecuting Paxton.
"Our investigation did not find any additional criminal activity over which our office has venue, so we are concluding Travis County's involvement in this matter," said Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, whose office includes the state's public integrity unit.
Representatives for Paxton have said the issue was related to an "administrative oversight" and was resolved after he paid the fine.
For now, this matter is over and once again we can look back and see just how ugly political threats and campaigns can get.
Other Must Read Links:
These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard on our KFYO YouTube page after the show and online at kfyo.com.