The state of Texas — One of the major issues that state legislators have yet to address is how they will spend almost $16 billion in federal COVID relief monies.
The money comes with few strings attached, allowing the state to respond to the pandemic’s effects with greater flexibility. The nonprofit, data-driven organization Texas 2036 is asking lawmakers to focus on long-term solutions to the state’s key policy concerns.
“First and foremost, we’re going to have to use them to address the ongoing COVID crisis,” said John Hryhorchuk, Vice President of Policy for Texas 2036. “But beyond that, there’s going to be billions leftover that we think the state and lawmakers should be considering what kind of long-term investments can we really make to help our state solve problems that won’t just help us in the short term, but could help us knock out decades-long problems.”
Hryhorchuk stated that this encompasses infrastructure difficulties, internet expansion, power grid repair, new investments in energy technology, and long-term water needs.
In the next special session, which is scheduled for this fall, lawmakers are likely to discuss how the money should be spent.
The 17-item agenda retains well-known Abbott goals, such as the election bill that prompted House Democrats to depart the state at the outset of the first special session, which concludes Friday. However, it includes six additions, including the use of federal COVID-19 relief funding and the possibility of modifying the legislative norms surrounding quorums.
There’s also a new section on public education during the epidemic, which is becoming increasingly important as parents prepare to send their children back to school with the virus on the increase again in Texas.
There’s also a new part of public education during the outbreak, which is becoming increasingly crucial as parents prepare to send their children back to school in Texas, where the virus has resurfaced.