Two Texas lawmakers are reaching across the aisle on legislation to establish a new “program” enabling state bureaucrats to use taxpayer dollars to pick winners and losers in the grocery business.

What exactly is a “grocery access investment fund” – and why do State Reps. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) and Giovanni Capriglione (R-Keller) think the state should be running one?

According to HB 3324, the “Texas Grocery Access Investment Fund” is a “trust fund outside the treasury” to be administered by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. Its purpose is “to provide financing to construct, rehabilitate, or expand grocery stores, mobile markets, farm stands, and other eligible projects as determined by the department” for the purpose of increasing “food access” in “underserved” low- and moderate-income areas in the state.

What does that mean? State Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Hurst) explained when he pegged HB 3324 as a “Bad Bill of the Week:”

It means me and you giving up our tax dollars to a bunch of unelected bureaucrats here in Austin, who are apparently going to look at a map and decide where we need a new a grocery store…

The free market works… what messes the whole thing up is when politicians file bills like HB 3324 with the idea of taking dollars out of your pocket and handing them to somebody else.

While it’s no surprise that an Austin Democrat is backing a bill to set up a new government-run corporate welfare slush fund under the guise of “helping” people, it may surprise some in Tarrant County that a self-avowed “conservative” Republican such as Capriglione has signed on to the scheme.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.