Today, State Rep. Ken Paxton filed a proposed constitutional amendment (House Joint Resolution 46) that would give the Governor authority to cut wasteful spending in the budget. Currently, the Constitution allows the Governor to exercise a line item veto over individual budget items. However, paradoxically, the Governor cannot reduce the amount of spending on a line item even though he can completely eliminate the item.
Like the conventional , all-or-nothing line item veto, Paxton’s proposed amendment would allow the Legislature to override a Governor’s decision to reduce spending on a line item with a two-thirds vote of both chambers.
This bill provides a welcome reform that would, by allowing the Governor to exercise his veto power with more precision, prevent excessive spending from escaping the ax by being part of a line item that also includes legitimately necessary spending. If you recall the $800 toilet seats the Pentagon was once purchasing, it makes perfect sense to say that toilet seats are needed, but not at that price point. Taxpayers demand efficiency not extravagance in government, and this amendment will help the Texas Governor deliver on that.