Legislature files proposed appropriations bills for FY 2020-21
The Texas House and Texas Senate have recently filed their respective versions of the Fiscal Year 2020-21 General Appropriations Bill, and these initial proposals will serve as the starting point for budget deliberations during the upcoming months of the current legislative session.
TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier thanks the legislature and their budget support staff for their support, saying, "I appreciate the work policymakers have devoted to preparing these initial budget proposals, as well the many long hours they will spend finalizing the state’s budget for the next two fiscal years." Collier also noted that the agency will work closely with members of the Legislature and the Governor's Office to make sure they have accurate information regarding the impact of their various decisions.
Some of the proposed FY 2020-21 budget items which directly affect TDCJ operations include:
- Provides funding for felony and misdemeanor probation supervision based on the Legislative Budget Board's (LBB) offender population projections.
- Maintains FY 2018-19 funding levels for probation treatment/diversion programs, community corrections programs and the Treatment Alternatives to Incarceration Program.
Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments (TCOOMMI)
- Maintains FY 2018-19 funding levels for mental health services and continuity of care for adult and juvenile offenders.
Incarceration and Treatment
- Maintains FY 2018-19 staffing and funding levels for incarceration, to include correctional officers, unit support, utilities and maintenance, and industry/agriculture operations.
- Provides funding to maintain current operational levels for contract prisons and privately operated state jails.
- Maintains current funding levels for rehabilitation and reentry programs such as chaplaincy, reentry transitional coordinators, substance abuse treatment programs and the sex offender treatment program.
- The House version of the proposed bill provides an additional $5.3 million for an academic and vocational pilot program, while the Senate version provides an additional $2 million for expansion of vocational training programs.
- Both introduced versions of the bill provide no funding for major repair projects.
- The House provides an additional $160 million to maintain offender health care at the projected FY 2018-19 expenditure level.
- Both the House and Senate versions of the bill provide additional funding for comprehensive video surveillance systems, with the House allotting $26 million and the Senate $10 million.
- Provides staffing and funding for parole supervision based on the LBB’s offender population projections.
- Provides funding to maintain FY 2018-19 operational levels for halfway house and intermediate sanction facility beds.
Other TDCJ functions
- Maintains staffing and funding levels for all other administrative and support functions such as Central Administration, Information Technology, Office of Inspector General, State Counsel for Offenders and Health Services.
- Provides funding for Information Resources data center services based on the estimates provided by the Department of Information Resources (DIR).
The Legislature will now consider the proposed General Appropriations bills, with the final appropriations for the FY 2020-21 biennium adopted no earlier than May 2019. Certification by the comptroller and approval or disapproval of the General Appropriations Bill by the Governor are scheduled to take place during June 2019.
A summary of the proposed legislation is available, and updates regarding legislative budget actions will be posted in the Connections newsletter.