Summary of the FY 2020-21 General Appropriations Bills, based on decisions of the House and Senate (prior to Conference Committee)
Statement from Executive Director Bryan Collier
The Texas Senate’s and the House of Representatives’ versions of the general appropriations bill were recently made available and provide proposed funding decisions regarding the state budget for the upcoming FY 2020-21 biennium. In January 2019, when HB1/SB1 were introduced, both bills established funding for most TDCJ operations and programs at current operational levels. During the last several months, we have worked closely with the committee members considering our requests for additional items of policy and operational significance.
I want to emphasize that the funding decisions described below will not be finalized until differences between the two bills are resolved by a conference committee of select members from both chambers, and the outcome is approved by the governor. Additionally, other potential legislation and fiscal matters will be considered before state appropriations for FY 2020-21 are finalized. We will continue to work with all members of the legislature and the Governor’s Office to ensure they have accurate information regarding the impact of various decisions on operations and staff.
Based on a preliminary review of the actions taken in both the House and Senate on the general appropriations bill, the following summarizes areas of operational impact:
Targeted Salary Increases:
- The House ($168.1 million) and Senate ($84.1 million) provide funding for targeted salary increases for correctional officers, correctional laundry and food service managers, ranking correctional officers, and parole officers, in order to address recruitment and retention of these mission critical positions.
Capital and Infrastructure:
- The House and Senate provide $24.1 million for the Corrections Information Technology System Project, which will modernize the agency’s current mainframe offender management systems.
- The House ($100.1 million) and Senate ($29.9 million) provide funding for major repair and renovation projects in FY2020-21. The House ($26.0 million) and Senate ($10.0 million) also provide funding for the installation of comprehensive video surveillance systems on specified maximum-security facilities.
- The House and Senate provide funding levels for felony and misdemeanor probation supervision based on the LBB January 2019 population projections.
- The House and Senate maintain funding for the probation treatment/diversion programs, community corrections programs and the Treatment Alternatives to Incarceration Program at current levels.
- The House and Senate provide an additional $4.0 million for pretrial diversion programs.
Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments (TCOOMMI):
- The House and Senate maintain current funding levels for mental health services and continuity of care for adult and juvenile offenders.
- The House provides an additional $8.3 million for the expansion of mental health services in rural areas and $0.6 million for reentry services for offenders releasing from the developmental disabilities program.
Correctional Operations, Treatment Programs & Health Care:
- The House and Senate maintain staffing and funding for operational areas within the incarceration function (such as correctional officers, unit support, utilities, maintenance, and industry/agriculture operations) at FY 2018-19 levels.
- The House and Senate provide funding to maintain current operational levels for contract prisons and privately operated state jails, as well as maintain 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 and Senate provide an additional $160.0 million to maintain offender health care at projected FY 2018-19 expenditure levels. The House provides an additional $26.8 million for information technology upgrades, capital equipment, targeted market adjustments, and an occupational therapy program for offenders in the developmental disabilities program. The Senate provides $2.0 million for capital equipment.
- The House ($5.3 million) and Senate ($2.6 million) provide funding for an academic and vocational pilot program for state jail felons.
- The House and Senate provide an additional $2.0 million to expand vocational training programs.
- The House provides an additional $15.0 million to expand sheltered housing beds at the Murray and Stiles Units, $2.0 million for a body worn camera pilot program, and $2.0 million for a reentry services pilot program in Houston and Dallas.
- The House and Senate provide staffing and funding for parole supervision based on the LBB January 2019 population projections.
- The House and Senate provide funding to maintain current operational levels for halfway house and intermediate sanction facility beds.
Other Agency Functions:
- The House and Senate maintain 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).
- The House and Senate provide funding for Information Resources data center services based on the estimates provided through the Department of Information Resources (DIR).