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Texas Lawmaker Accusing Gov. Perry Of Financial Overreach For National Guard Border Surge

Ryan Poppe | Texas Public Radio
TPR News

According to the state’s Legislative Budge Board, Gov. Rick Perry used money in a Department of Public Safety infrastructure fund to kick off the Texas National Guard’s operations and training for the state-led border surge operation, but did not inform the LBB or the Legislature. 

Officials with the governor’s office say they were able to use an emergency rider to redirect $38 million from the DPS account.  

But state Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, said the situation at the border is no longer an emergency.

"It’s different when you have one person, let’s say the governor, declaring an emergency for public security, when the head of the DPS did not ask for it and the head of the National Guard did not ask for it,” Turner said.

According to Mike Morrissey, the governor's deputy chief of staff, this is the first time the governor’s office has used an emergency rider. Turner said by what the governor’s office has laid out as its reasoning for spending this money, anything could be labeled an emergency.

“And then bypass the legislative process and go between the governor’s office and comptroller and extend dollars without legislative approval or oversight," Turner said.

Turner says the $38 million the governor has used only pays for three months of the National Guard deployment.

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.