Rick Perry’s Business Fund Gave Millions To Firms, Universities That Never Sent An Application
The first independent audit of the Texas Enterprise Fund concluded in the 98-page report by the state auditor that Governor Rick Perry’s job-creating fund awarded $222 million — almost half the money granted — to entities that never submitted applications or specific promises to create jobs.
[su_center_ad]The report was released to lawmakers on Thursday.
Dallas News reports:
…paints a picture of a $500 million fund that, at least in its early years, gave away taxpayer money without a set evaluation process or a consistent criteria.
Early grants were awarded to companies or universities without their submitting formal applications, and some large projects were never required to create a single job — although that is the legislative mandate by which the fund was started.
Numerous contracts showed inconsistent requirements, weak compliance monitoring and led the auditor to state that it cannot verify many of the jobs or investments that were credited to the program.
Critics have complained that the Texas Enterprise Fund was a loosely controlled treasure trove for Perry to dole out state money to favored projects. The audit did little to dispel that.
One example of apparent mismanagement is the state’s termination of 23 contracts, resulting in $19 million being paid back. Auditors found the state should have collected another $3.8 million.
Perry’s role of choosing“winners and losers” for the funding has come under fire. Sen. Wendy Davis authored legislation which prompted the audit.
According to the Dallas News, Attorney General Greg Abbott, Wendy Davis’ opponent, has also said the incentive programs need to be re-evaluated.
Dallas News has a detailed report here. [su_csky_ad]