AUSTIN, Texas — On Wednesday, the Texas Senate approved Senate Bill 500, which accounts for the State's supplemental budget covering Harvey, the Medicaid shortfall and other needs for the state.
"The supplemental budget provides funding for some of the Legislature's key priorities - Hurricane Harvey relief, school safety and healthcare needs. It provides significant resources to improve the state's flood control infrastructure and helps communities along the Gulf Coast rebuild," said the bill's author, Senator Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound). "Because the budget we passed was essentially flat, Senate Bill 500 keeps our current biennial budget well within the constitutional spending limit."
SB 500 would provide $6 billion in state funds to cover supplemental needs:
- More than $3 billion for Harvey-related expenses
- $2.1 billion to address the Medicaid shortfall
- $100 million for school safety, with an amendment that gives districts greater flexibility on the type of safety equipment they can buy
- $300 million to continue the Legislature's commitment to improve state hospital facilities
- $542 million to address pension liabilities for the Teacher Retirement System and provide retired teacher's a 13th check up to $500
- $211 million to pay obligations of the Texas Tomorrow Fund
- $160 million to address the Correctional Managed Health Care shortfall
- $100 million to refill the Governor's Disaster Fund to help rebuild from natural disasters
Out of that $6 billion, $4.3 billion comes from the Economic Stabilization fund.
SB 500 now heads to the Hosue for consideration.