Despite pleas from local officials across the Gulf Coast, Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott refuses to tap the Rainy Day Fund for the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.
“At issue is $1 billion recovery funding available through the federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which could be used for long-term recovery by paying for projects to mitigate future disasters such as flooding.”[Houston Chronicle, May 15, 2018] The federal government would take up 75% of the tab, but local officials need state government to help cover the remaining 25%.
Local officials representing over 50 Harvey-battered counties and cities asked Abbott to tap into the state’s savings account for assistance. “Abbott immediately responded with a letter of his own to Houston: Stop complaining… ‘There is more money available to you than you have demonstrated the ability to spend.’”
Read the full story in the Houston Chronicle
Texas Democratic Party Chair and former Cameron County Judge Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“As a former county judge who dealt with hurricane recovery, I know grant programs can be complicated, but this is simple, without state support, Texans are missing out on federal funds to rebuild and prevent future disasters.
“If Greg Abbott thinks he knows better than Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner or any of the leaders across the Gulf Coast, then he should run for mayor.
“The Gulf Coast needs help, not condescending reprimands from Gov. Abbott to folks working hard to rebuild their hurricane-ravaged communities.
“Greg Abbott ought to be ashamed of himself. We can’t control the weather, but we can control how we respond to disasters and help prevent the next one.”