Senate votes to keep Abbott promise, scrap Perry tech fund

Texas Capitol

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Senate has voted to heed Gov. Greg Abbott’s call to abolish a technology incentive program his predecessor used to distribute $200 million in taxpayer funds to Texas startups.

A bill disbanding Rick Perry’s pet Emerging Technology Fund passed 30-1 Wednesday and heads to the House.

The fund’s remaining balance will go to a new fund to improve research at Texas universities by offering incentives to recruit top academic minds, and to the Texas Enterprise Fund, a second governor-controlled business incentive program.

Perry is preparing an expected 2016 presidential run and credits the Emerging Technology Fund with bolstering Texas’ economy. But it drew criticism for funding some firms that didn’t create jobs or went bankrupt.

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Abbott has expressed concerns about business incentive funds and says he’d rather improve university research.