Texas Attorney General Opinion: KP-0097 Page: 4 of 5
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Commissioner Mike Morath - Page 4 (KP-0097)
intent that the GLO assist the Commissioner in the disposition of the property. See General
Appropriations Act, 84th Leg., R.S., ch. 1281, art. IX, 8.02(h)(2), 2015 Tex. Gen. Laws 4343,
5206 ("The General Land Office, upon request of the commissioner of education, may enter into
an interagency agreement to assist with the marketing and sale of the state real property in an
expedient manner and that allows the recovery of costs.").
The last question also inquires whether Texas Constitution article III, section 51 and article
IX, section 8.02 of the Appropriations Act are the only other laws that may govern the disposition
of the returned property. See Request Letter at 3. Under Texas Constitution article III, sections 51
and 52(a), the Commissioner is prohibited from making an outright grant of the public property.
TEX. CONST. art. III, 51, 52(a); see Tex. Att'y Gen. Op. No. JC-0146 (1999) at 2-3
(acknowledging that application of public funds to private interests is prohibited if gratuitous);
Tex. Mun. League Intergov 'tl Risk Pool v. Tex. Workers 'Comp. Comm 'n., 74 S.W.3d 377, 384 (Tex.
2002) (establishing three-part test to determine constitutionality of an expenditure of public funds
or property). Article IX, subsection 8.02(h) of the Appropriations Act of the Eighty-fourth
Legislature provides that
[p]roceeds from the sale of real property returned to the state due to
revocation or other cessation of operation of an entity under Chapter
12, Texas Education Code, are appropriated to the Texas Education
Agency for the management and closure of entities and disposition
of state property under Chapter 12, Texas Education Code.
General Appropriations Act, 84th Leg., R.S., ch. 1281, art. IX, 8.02(h), 2015 Tex. Gen. Laws
4343, 5206. By its plain language, proceeds from the disposition of public property returned to
the State pursuant to section 12.128, Education Code, are appropriated to the Texas Education
Agency for the "management and closure of entities and disposition of state property." Id. As
your predecessor acknowledged, Texas Constitution article III, section 51 and article IX, section
8.02 of the Appropriations Act apply to property returned to the State under section 12.128. See
Request Letter at 3. While we do not find additional law that expressly provides for the disposition
of property returned to the State pursuant to section 12.128, we cannot foreclose the possibility
that other law may apply to the Commissioner's disposition of the property.
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: KP-0097, text, June 20, 2016; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth1051197/m1/4/: accessed May 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.