The Texas Legislative Budget Board announced the authorization of nearly $875 million for public safety initiatives including school security and additional funding for Operation Lone Star. Also included is $100 million for COVID-19 response expenses.
Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Speaker Dade Phelan, Senate Finance Committee Chair Joan Huffman, and House Appropriations Chair Dr. Greg Bonnen announced the State of Texas will commit $874.6 million for public safety and recovery issues, according to a statement from Governor Abbott’s office.
“The State of Texas is working around the clock to support critical public safety efforts, including protecting communities across the state from the increasing threats pouring across our southern border, as well as enhancing the security of Texas schools,” Governor Abbott stated. “Texas continues providing support to the Uvalde community in the aftermath of tragedy as they rebuild.”
The plan announced on Thursday by the Texas Legislative Budget Board provides for the following:
- $400 million to assist school districts in replacing or upgrading doors, windows, fencing, communications, and other safety measures;
- $15 million to assist in the construction of a new elementary school in Uvalde;
- $339 million to the Texas Military Department for continued border security activities related to Operation Lone Star;
- $20.6 million to support other state agencies under Operation Lone Star to continue responding to the border crisis; and,
- $100 million to the Texas Division of Emergency Management for COVID-19 response expenses.
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick added, “Securing the safety of our children and our southern border are issues of paramount importance. This action ensures that Texas is in a strong position to confront these issues head-on during the upcoming legislative session.”
The additional funding for school security comes as investigations into the Robb Elementary School shooting revealed a lack of attention by school officials to school security policies and maintenance issues that could have prevented the tragedy.
“These funds will continue to support the community of Uvalde in the wake of such a devastating tragedy earlier this year and will help bolster the safety of Texans,” Speaker Phelan explained. “School security will be a priority for the Texas House during the 88th Legislature, and this additional funding is a meaningful step we can take in the meantime.”
The need for additional funding for border security operations including Operation Lone Star comes as the Biden administration recently reported back-to-back record years in illegal border crossing apprehensions. Border Patrol agents apprehended more than 2.2 million migrants during the recently ended FY22. This is up by 33 percent over the previous record-setting year in FY21.
Of the 2.2 million migrants apprehended crossing the southwest border last year, nearly 1.4 million entered through the five Texas-based Border Patrol sectors.
“As the crisis at our border continues, it is critical that the legislature continues to fund Operation Lone Star as the flow of illegal immigrants, weapons, and drugs has hit unprecedented levels,” said Senator Huffman, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. “Because the federal government has completely neglected this emergency, imagine how unsafe communities across the country would be had Texas not stepped up to provide its full support. It is also our duty to continue to support the Uvalde community, and a major state contribution toward a new school facility is part of that responsibility.”
The announcement by the budget board includes $110 million for the Texas Division of Emergency Management for COVID-19 response expenses, the governor’s office stated.
“I thank my legislative partners for the swift allocation of these additional funds to ensure the ongoing safety and security of all Texans,” Gov. Abbott concluded. “Working together, we will continue boosting public safety statewide and supporting Uvalde in their efforts to heal and move forward.”
Denial of responsibility! planetcirculate is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.