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Lawmakers Vote To Place Oversight On Comptroller & Major Event Fund

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Circuit of the Americas Facebook photo

The Texas Senate approved SB 1678, which was authored by Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, in response to misspending related to the addition of a Jumbotron at the American Airlines Center in Dallas and another at the Circuit of Americas facility in Austin. 

Deuell said the fund, which is controlled by the Texas comptroller, needed a major overhaul.

"We think the money should be used for expenses to put on the events and building something might be very good for them, but it is not the purpose of using the tax money," Deuell said.

This means the money received from the state has to go toward running the event and for promotion.

Deuell said another major change relates to how companies bidding on an event get paid from the Major Event Fund and Event Trust.

"One of the key points of the bill is that there is no more pre-payment," Deuell said. "They get paid after the event and we can actually look at it and say, 'Nah, you didn’t do what we thought you would do.' Sometimes a business venture doesn’t work out the way that you think."

According to the bill, companies would have to draw in a million dollars or more in revenue from ticket sales in order to receive the state’s matching funds of $1 to $6.25. 

A companion bill would audit the comptroller’s activities related to the money awarded from the Major Event Trust Fund. 

The bill passed in the Senate and now heads to the House for a vote.