Governor Abbott, Lt. Governor Patrick, Speaker Phelan, Senate Finance, House Appropriations Committee Chairs Announce Additional $874.6 Million For Public Safety Initiatives

October 27, 2022 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Speaker Dade Phelan, Senate Finance Committee Chair Joan Huffman, and House Appropriations Chair Dr. Greg Bonnen today announced the transfer of more than $874.6 million to support critical public safety and recovery initiatives, such as border security and school safety, during the current biennium.

$874.6 million will be transferred to state agencies and programs for initiatives that include enhanced border security operations and school safety. The funding will provide:

  • $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;
  • $339.6 million to the Texas Military Department for continued border security activities related to Operation Lone Star;
  • $20 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. 

“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,” said Governor Abbott. “Texas continues providing support to the Uvalde community in the aftermath of tragedy as they rebuild. I thank my legislative partners for the swift allocation of these additional funds to ensure the ongoing safety and security of all Texans. Working together, we will continue boosting public safety statewide and supporting Uvalde in their efforts to heal and move forward.”

“Securing the safety of our children and our southern border are issues of paramount importance,” said Lieutenant Governor Patrick. “This action ensures that Texas is in a strong position to confront these issues head-on during the upcoming legislative session.”

“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,” said Speaker Phelan. “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.”

"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. Furthermore, ensuring that our schools are safe and secure is one of my top priorities, and additional funding for school security is a prudent step. Improving campus safety will continue be an ongoing priority as we prepare for the next legislative session."

“The action taken today by the Legislative Budget Board provides essential resources to address the crisis at the border and further protect our schools," said Dr. Bonnen, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee. "I am thankful for the strong leadership of Governor Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Patrick, and Speaker Phelan on these critical public safety issues.” 

The legislature will consider school safety issues, including additional school safety funding, during the next legislative session.

The Texas Department of Public Safety will continue to perform duties under Operation Lone Star using other agency funds to cover associated costs and will present any supplemental appropriations need to the legislature to consider during the next legislative session.

Read the proposal letter from state leadership and the approval letter from the Governor.