Senate panel backs audit of Perry enterprise fund

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Associated Press

Posted on April 10, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 10 at 5:06 PM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Gov. Rick Perry's deal-closing Texas Enterprise Fund would receive a state audit for the first time under a bill unanimously passed by a Senate panel.

The Senate Economic Development Committee on Wednesday approved the measure that would require auditors to closely scrutinize the decade-old program. The Texas Enterprise Fund has awarded more than $485 million to private companies looking to expand or relocate in the state.

Critics have targeted the initiative, and Perry's similar Emerging Technology Fund, over accountability and impact.

The bill by Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis would require an audit report no later than January 2015.

Perry, coincidentally, walked in on the hearing before the bill came up for discussion. But he only briefly stopped to exchange pleasantries before continuing to pass through a mostly empty Senate chamber.

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