Article III, Section 49-b of the Texas Constitution

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As amended November 8, 2011:

(a) The Veterans' Land Board shall be composed of the Commissioner of the General Land Office and two (2) citizens of the State of Texas, one (1) of whom shall be well versed in veterans' affairs and one (1) of whom shall be well versed in finances. One (1) such citizen member shall, with the advice and consent of the Senate, be appointed biennially by the Governor to serve for a term of four (4) years. In the event of the resignation or death of any such citizen member, the Governor shall appoint a replacement to serve for the unexpired portion of the term to which the deceased or resigning member had been appointed. The compensation for said citizen members shall be as is now or may hereafter be fixed by the Legislature; and each shall make bond in such amount as is now or may hereafter be prescribed by the Legislature.

(b) The Commissioner of the General Land Office shall act as Chairman of said Board and shall be the administrator of the Veterans' Land Program under such terms and restrictions as are now or may hereafter be provided by law. In the absence or illness of said Commissioner, the Chief Clerk of the General Land Office shall be the Acting Chairman of said Board with the same duties and powers that said Commissioner would have if present.

(c) The Veterans' Land Board may provide for, issue and sell bonds or obligations of the State of Texas as authorized by constitutional amendment or by a debt proposition under Section 49 of this article for the purpose of creating the Veterans' Land Fund, the Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund, and the Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund II.

(d) Said Veterans' Land Fund, to the extent of the moneys attributable to any bonds hereafter issued and sold by said Board may be used by said Board, as is now or may hereafter be provided by law, for the purpose of paying the expenses of surveying, monumenting, road construction, legal fees, recordation fees, advertising and other like costs necessary or incidental to the purchase and sale, or resale, of any lands purchased with any of the moneys attributable to such additional bonds, such expenses to be added to the price of such lands when sold, or resold, by said Board; for the purpose of paying the expenses of issuing, selling, and delivering any such additional bonds; and for the purpose of meeting the expenses of paying the interest or principal due or to become due on any such additional bonds.

(e) For purposes of this section, "veteran" means a person who satisfies the definition of "veteran" as set forth by the laws of the State of Texas.

(f) The Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund shall be administered by the Veterans' Land Board and shall be used for the purpose of making home mortgage loans to veterans for housing within the State of Texas in such quantities, on such terms, at such rates of interest, and under such rules and regulations as may be authorized by law. The expenses of the board in connection with the issuance of the bonds for the benefit of the Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund and the making of the loans may be paid from money in the fund. The principal of and interest on the general obligation bonds authorized by this section for the benefit of the Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund shall be paid out of the money of the fund, but the money of the fund which is not immediately committed to the payment of principal and interest on such bonds, the making of home mortgage loans as herein provided, or the payment of expenses as herein provided may be invested as authorized by law until the money is needed for such purposes.

(g) The Veterans' Land Fund shall be used by the Veterans' Land Board to purchase lands situated in the state owned by the United States government, an agency of the United States government, this state, a political subdivision or agency of this state, or a person, firm, or corporation.

(h) Lands purchased and comprising a part of the Veterans' Land Fund are declared to be held for a governmental purpose, but the individual purchasers of those lands shall be subject to taxation to the same extent and in the same manner as are purchasers of lands dedicated to the Permanent School Fund. The lands shall be sold to veterans in quantities, on terms, at prices, and at fixed, variable, floating, or other rates of interest, determined by the Board and in accordance with rules of the Board. Notwithstanding any provisions of this section to the contrary, lands in the Veterans' Land Fund that are offered for sale to veterans and that are not sold may be sold or resold to the purchasers in quantities, on terms, at prices, and at rates of interest determined by the Board and in accordance with rules of the Board.

(i) The expenses of the Board in connection with the issuance of the bonds for the benefit of the Veterans' Land Fund and the purchase and sale of the lands may be paid from money in the Veterans' Land Fund.

(j) The Veterans' Land Fund shall consist of: (1) lands heretofore or hereafter purchased by the Board; (2) money attributable to bonds heretofore or hereafter issued and sold by the Board for the fund, including proceeds from the issuance and sale of the bonds; (3) money received from the sale or resale of lands or rights in lands purchased from those proceeds; (4) money received from the sale or resale of lands or rights in lands purchased with other money attributable to the bonds; (5) proceeds derived from the sale or other disposition of the Board's interest in contracts for the sale or resale of lands or rights in lands; (6) interest and penalties received from the sale or resale of lands or rights in lands; (7) bonuses, income, rents, royalties, and other pecuniary benefits received by the Board from lands; (8) money received by way of indemnity or forfeiture for the failure of a bidder for the purchase of bonds to comply with the bid and accept and pay for the bonds or for the failure of a bidder for the purchase of lands comprising a part of the Veterans' Land Fund to comply with the bid and accept and pay for the lands; (9) payments received by the Board under a bond enhancement agreement with respect to the bonds; and (10) interest received from investments of money in the fund.

(k) The principal of and interest on the general obligation bonds for the benefit of the Veterans' Land Fund, including payments by the Board under a bond enhancement agreement with respect to principal of or interest on the bonds, shall be paid out of the money of the Veterans' Land Fund, but the money in the fund that is not immediately committed to the payment of principal and interest on the bonds, the purchase of lands, or the payment of expenses may be invested as authorized by law until the money is needed for those purposes.

(l) The Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund II is a separate and distinct fund from the Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund. Money in the Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund II shall be administered by the Veterans' Land Board and shall be used to make home mortgage loans to veterans for housing within this state in quantities, on terms, and at fixed, variable, floating, or other rates of interest, determined by the Board and in accordance with rules of the Board. The expenses of the Board in connection with the issuance of the bonds for the benefit of the Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund II and the making of the loans may be paid from money in the Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund II.

(m) The Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund II shall consist of: (1) the Board's interest in home mortgage loans the Board makes to veterans from money in the fund under the Veterans' Housing Assistance Program established by law; (2) proceeds derived from the sale or other disposition of the Board's interest in home mortgage loans; (3) money attributable to bonds issued and sold by the Board to provide money for the fund, including the proceeds from the issuance and sale of bonds; (4) income, rents, and other pecuniary benefits received by the Board as a result of making loans; (5) money received by way of indemnity or forfeiture for the failure of a bidder for the purchase of bonds to comply with the bid and accept and pay for the bonds; (6) payments received by the Board under a bond enhancement agreement with respect to the bonds; and (7) interest received from investments of money.

(n) The principal of and interest on the general obligation bonds for the benefit of the Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund II, including payments by the Board under a bond enhancement agreement with respect to principal of or interest on the bonds, shall be paid out of the money of the Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund II, but the money in the fund that is not immediately committed to the payment of principal and interest on the bonds, the making of home mortgage loans, or the payment of expenses may be invested as authorized by law until the money is needed for those purposes.

(o) The Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund shall consist of: (1) the Board's interest in home mortgage loans the Board makes to veterans from money in the fund under the Veterans' Housing Assistance Program established by law; (2) proceeds derived from the sale or other disposition of the Board's interest in home mortgage loans; (3) money attributable to bonds issued and sold by the Board to provide money for the fund, including proceeds from the issuance and sale of bonds; (4) income, rents, and other pecuniary benefits received by the Board as a result of making loans; (5) money received by way of indemnity or forfeiture for the failure of a bidder for the purchase of bonds to comply with the bid and accept and pay for the bonds; (6) payments received by the Board under a bond enhancement agreement with respect to the bonds; and (7) interest received from investments of money.

(p) The principal of and interest on the general obligation bonds for the benefit of the Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund, including payments by the Board under a bond enhancement agreement with respect to principal of or interest on the bonds, shall be paid out of money in the Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund.

(q) If there is not enough money in the Veterans' Land Fund, the Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund, or the Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund II, as the case may be, available to pay the principal of and interest on the general obligation bonds benefiting those funds, including money to make payments by the Board under a bond enhancement agreement with respect to principal of or interest on the bonds, there is appropriated out of the first money coming into the treasury in each fiscal year, not otherwise appropriated by this constitution, an amount that is sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on the general obligation bonds that mature or become due during that fiscal year or to make bond enhancement payments with respect to those bonds.

(r) Receipts of all kinds of the Veterans' Land Fund, the Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund, or the Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund II that the Board determines are not required for the payment of principal of and interest on the general obligation bonds benefiting those funds, including payments by the Board under a bond enhancement agreement with respect to principal of or interest on the bonds, may be used by the Board, to the extent not inconsistent with the proceedings authorizing the bonds to: (1) make temporary transfers to another of those funds to avoid a temporary cash deficiency in that fund or make a transfer to another of those funds for the purposes of that fund; (2) pay the principal of and interest on general obligation bonds issued to provide money for another of those funds or make bond enhancement payments with respect to the bonds; or (3) pay the principal of and interest on revenue bonds of the Board or make bond enhancement payments with respect to the bonds.

(s) If the Board determines that assets from the Veterans' Land Fund, the Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund, or the Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund II are not required for the purposes of the fund, the Board may: (1) transfer the assets to another of those funds; (2) use the assets to secure revenue bonds issued by the Board; (3) use the assets to plan and design, operate, maintain, enlarge, or improve veterans cemeteries; or (4) use the assets to plan and design, construct, acquire, own, operate, maintain, enlarge, improve, furnish, or equip veterans homes.

(t) The revenue bonds shall be special obligations of the Board and payable only from and secured only by receipts of the funds, assets transferred from the funds, and other revenues and assets as determined by the Board and shall not constitute indebtedness of the state or the Veterans' Land Board. The Board may issue revenue bonds from time to time, which bonds may not exceed an aggregate principal amount that the Board determines can be fully retired from the receipts of the funds, the assets transferred from the funds, and the other revenues and assets pledged to the retirement of the revenue bonds. Notwithstanding the rate of interest specified by any other provision of this constitution, revenue bonds shall bear a rate or rates of interest the Board determines. A determination made by the Board under this subsection shall be binding and conclusive as to the matter determined.

(u) The bonds authorized to be issued and sold by the Veterans' Land Board shall be issued and sold in forms and denominations, on terms, at times, in the manner, at places, and in installments the Board determines. The bonds shall bear a rate or rates of interest the Board determines. The bonds shall be incontestable after execution by the Board, approval by the Attorney General of Texas, and delivery to the purchaser or purchasers of the bonds.

(v) This Amendment being intended only to establish a basic framework and not to be a comprehensive treatment of the Veterans' Housing Assistance Program and the Veterans' Land Program, there is hereby reposed in the Legislature full power to implement and effectuate the design and objects of this Amendment, including the power to delegate such duties, responsibilities, functions, and authority to the Veterans' Land Board as it believes necessary.

(w) The Veterans' Land Board may provide for, issue, and sell general obligation bonds of the state for the purpose of selling land to veterans of the state or providing home or land mortgage loans to veterans of the state in a principal amount of outstanding bonds that must at all times be equal to or less than the aggregate principal amount of state general obligation bonds previously authorized for those purposes by prior constitutional amendments. Bonds and other obligations issued or executed under the authority of this subsection may not be included in the computation required by Section 49-j of this article. The bond proceeds shall be deposited in or used to benefit and augment the Veterans' Land Fund, the Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund, or the Veterans' Housing Assistance Fund II, as determined appropriate by the Veterans' Land Board, and shall be administered and invested as provided by law. Payments of principal and interest on the bonds, including payments made under a bond enhancement agreement with respect to principal of or interest on the bonds, shall be made from the sources and in the manner provided by this section for general obligation bonds issued for the benefit of the applicable fund.

Editor Comments

Added in 1946, this lengthy (2,667 words) section has been amended 15 times.

Steve Smith

Recent Decisions

None.

Historic Decisions

None.

Library Resources

Online Resources