State's investment funds await new Lege scrutiny

Published On: Jan 04 2013 09:07:28 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 04 2013 09:06:43 PM CST
AUSTIN, Texas -

In 2012, bankruptcies and a criminal investigation marred Texas' signature programs that use taxpayer funds to boost private startups.

Now, state lawmakers must decide in 2013 how much of an appetite they have to keep the money flowing.

The state budget picture will be brighter when the Legislature convenes Tuesday.

Leaders of both Gov. Rick Perry's Emerging Technology Fund and the embattled Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, or CPRIT, will find it much tougher to getting lawmakers to fork over a combined $739 million for the next two years.

However, Perry aides say the Texas Enterprise Fund carried an unused balanced of about $145 million at the end of last year. That fund is touted as Perry's deal-closer to bring companies such as Apple to Texas.