The Texas A&M System agencies received an $8.9 million increase in base funding for the 2008-09 biennium. Included in the increase is $2.3 million to annualize salaries at the 2007 level, and $6.6 million in General Revenue Funds to adopt formula funding for maintenance & operation of infrastructure inside Brazos County at the same rate as Texas A&M University. In the bill as introduced the agencies, like other state agencies that have identified administrative costs, were subject to a five percent cut in administration; however, in the final bill the legislature restores this reduction for the agencies. The legislature also eliminates the rider provision in the Article III Special Provisions that restricted funds for out-of-Brazos County infrastructure to be used only for those purposes.
The agencies are included in the state employee pay raise of 2 percent (or a $50/month minimum) in each year of the 2008-09 biennium. The estimated General Revenue share for the agencies is $7.5 million.
The legislature provided $11.85 million in new special items for the agencies in the Article III Special Provisions. Of the $11.85 million in special items that are added in the Article III Special Provisions, $5 million was vetoed by the Governor and are noted below. Items added include:
- Texas Agricultural Experiment Station:
- Biological Energy Alliance ($4 million)
- Obesity Research (S&W Temple) ($2 million) VETOED
- Feedyard Beef Cattle Production ($0.85 million)
- Texas Cooperative Extension: Extend Program Delivery ($3 million) VETOED
- Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab: Bio Safety Lab ($2 million)
A&M System Research and Service Agencies
General Revenue Funds
House Bill 1 Appropriations for 2008-09
Compared to 2006-07 Expended/Budgeted Level
|Agencies * ||2008-09 ||Change ||% Change
|Agricultural Experiment Station
|Vet. Medical Diagnostic Lab.
|Engineering Experiment Station
|Engineering Extension Service
| Total, A&M System Agencies
|| $ 311,708,713
* Includes estimated funding for state employee pay raise.
** TTI funding is Fund 006 State Highway Fund.
The Governor also vetoed a contingency rider that would have appropriated an additional $10 million to the Texas Forest Service for the Texas Wildfire Protection Plan from the Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Account. The initial bill authorizing the funding did not pass; however, the bill was rolled into another piece of legislation that did pass.
Other articles of House Bill 1 include increases in funding in program areas which will be carried out by the A&M System Agencies. Funding at the Texas Department of Agriculture is increased by: $1.6 million for zebra chip research with a rider that directs the TDA to enter into an interagency contract with the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station for the research, and $500,000 for feral hog abatement which is done by the Texas Cooperative Extension Service.
PUBLIC COMMUNITY/JUNIOR COLLEGES
General Revenue Funds for Community Colleges was increased by a total of $91.2 million, including: $76.7 million to enhance the formulas and $10.2 million in formula hold harmless to ensure that no community college district is funded below its 2006–07 formula level.