May 07, 2007
More HB13 debunking

HB13 is scheduled to be on the floor of the House yet again today, at which time we may get some answers to the questions Scott Henson raised concerning federal funding questions that its sponsor, Rep. David Swinford, had claimed about it. Scott has some more questions today:

HB 13's sponsor David Swinford claimed having the Governor oversee these funds was required by federal statute, but as I reported over the weekend, that's not true. It turns out grant money would be given directly to counties from the US Attorney General and would not pass through the Governor at all!

Indeed, Rep. Rick Noriega's office compiled an analysis of where these functions have been placed in all 50 states that staff will distribute to House members. Bottom line, here's an overview of where various states have placed homeland security powers:

Governor: 12
Department of Public Safety: 15
Adjutant General: 5
Independent Agency: 11
Other: 6

So other states don't have HB 13's structure, and there is no federal statute or even pending legislation in Congress that would require such funds to pass through the Governor's office. Given Chairman Swinford's misreading of federal law and his misunderstanding with Congressman Culberson (who did not draft his federal legislation to mirror Swinford's bill), I hope he backs off these unnecessary and increasingly inexplicable demands.

Remember how the hullabaloo over Governor Perry's HPV order was really about Perry's overreaching his authority, and the House snapping him back into place? Well, I say this is another example of such overreach. Will the House act as they did with HB1098, or do the Governor's wild-eyed claims about terrorists cancel out such concerns? We shall see. The Observer has more.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 07, 2007 to That's our Lege