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Clarification and $2.8 Billion Worth of Good News Regarding Senate Bill 500 and Harvey Funding

I previously reported that Senate Bill 500, an omnibus appropriations bill passed unanimously by the House this week, deleted all funding for the Texas Infrastructure Resiliency Fund (TIRF). However, I should also have clarified that it did NOT delete ALL funding related to Harvey and flooding.

The House deleted the portion of funding related to flood-mitigation while it considers House Bill 13 with its own infrastructure fund. The House DID leave IN approximately $2.8 billion for items not related to flood-mitigation infrastructure improvements, but related to Harvey repairs, reimbursement for extraordinary Harvey expenses, flood health care, and more itemized below. Unless noted otherwise, all expenditures are for fiscal year 2019. These Harvey-related appropriations include the following:

TDEM Matching Funds for FEMA

  • $273,000,000 to the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) for matching funds for projects sponsored by political subdivisions and approved for the Hazard Mitigation Grant program administered by FEMA 
  • $400 million to TDEM for matching funds for projects sponsored by political subdivisions and approved for the Public Assistance grant program administered by FEMA. 

Health & Human Services and Education

  • $110,000,000 to Health and Human Services for children’s Medicaid expenses
  • $271,300,000 to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for increased student costs, reduction in school district property values and the reduction of the amount owed by school districts to achieve an equalized wealth level due to disaster remediation costs
  • $634,200,000 to the TEA for adjustment of school district property values and reimbursement to school districts for disaster remediation costs
  • $636,000,000 to TEA for the 2020 state fiscal year
  • $20,288,883 to the University of Houston
  • $4,000,000 to the University of Houston Downtown; 
  • $1,703,828 to the University of Houston – Victoria
  • $83,668 to the University of Houston – Clear Lake
  • $13,100,000 to the Lone Star College System
  • $2,458,239.76 to the Texas A&M Forest Service
  • $1,418,585 to Lamar University;
  • $1,312,657 to Lamar Institute of Technology
  • $6,319,458 to Lamar State College – Port Arthur
  • $406,112 to Lamar State College – Orange
  • $10,200,000 to UT Austin for storm damage

Criminal Justice and DPS

  • $38,6000,000 to the Department of Criminal Justice
  • $34,954,409 to Dept. of Public Safety (DPS) for Strategy A.1.1., Organized Crime; 
  • $60,000,000 to DPS for Strategy C.1.1., Traffic Enforcement
  • $2,000,000 to DPS for Strategy G.1.3., Information Technology

General Land Office

  • $696,921 to the General Land Office (GLO). for Strategy A.2.1., Asset Management
  • $20,459,797 to GLO for Strategy B.1.1., Coastal Management
  • $430,000 to GLO for Strategy B.1.2., Coastal Erosion Control Grant
  • $2,047,454 for Strategy B.2.1., Oil Spill Response
  • $4,217,510 to the GLO for full-time equivalent employees contingent on non-renewal of FEMA funding
  • $2,000,000 from the coastal protection account to the GLO for removal of abandoned vessels

Teas Parks & Wildlife and Workforce Commission

  • $17,000,000 to Parks and Wildlife to repair structures and equipment
  • $8,931,385 to Texas Workforce Commission for vocational rehabilitation services expenses

For More Information

Most of these expenditures will come from the Economic Stabilization (Rainy Day) Fund. For those who wish to learn more and review the exact wording of the House Committee Substitute version of SB500:

Here is the House version of CSSB500.

Here is the House Research Organization’s analysis of the bill.

Here is the House Appropriation Committee’s report on the bill.

Posted by Bob Rehak on March 30, 2019

578 Days since Hurricane Harvey