NEWS: THRC Statement on Comptroller Letter Regarding Ability to Provide Additional Funding
AUSTIN – The Texas House Republican Caucus (THRC) chairman today released a statement regarding Comptroller Glenn Hegar’s letter making clear that the latest revenue estimate, which was released on July 7, enables the legislature to fund critical programs, such as a 13th check for retired teachers and grants for foster care programs.
“During the regular session, the Legislature was able to allocate additional funding to teachers, healthcare programs and child services,” said THRC Chairman Jim Murphy (R-Houston). “But now, as the Comptroller made clear in his July 7th revenue estimate and in his letter today, we have an opportunity to do even more. That includes funding a 13th check for retired teachers and providing grants for foster care programs among other things. Yet, the Texas House is at a standstill because the Democrats walked off the job. If these critical programs are not funded, the sole responsibility will lie with the Texas Democrats who are choosing an all-expenses-paid vacation to Washington in lieu of representing their constituents in Austin.”
Excerpts from Comptroller Hegar’s letter:
When the regular session began in January, significant uncertainty remained in our revenue outlook as COVID cases and hospital counts were rising and the efficacy of the national vaccine rollout remained unclear. While uncertainty as to the ultimate direction of the Texas economy continues as a result of labor constraints, supply chain bottlenecks and increased instances of the delta and other coronavirus variants, the Texas economy appears poised for continued growth, and our economic outlook is more optimistic than just a few months ago.
The combination of this additional revenue and a more optimistic economic outlook gives the Legislature the opportunity to focus on issues lawmakers were unable to address in the regular session. I applaud the Governor for placing critical priorities on the agenda, and I support your efforts to address key issues like cybersecurity, border security, tax relief, a “13th check” for retired teachers, funding for foster care programs and other important needs, such as funding for broadband expansion across our state. Discretionary funding was not available for these crucial areas during the regular session, yet now that Texas’ economic outlook is more optimistic, I hope we are able to deal with each of these issues before the end of the First Called Session.
As a former lawmaker, I understand and respect policy differences, but it is my sincere hope that we can resolve those differences and take advantage of this opportunity.
To read the full letter, click here.