Texas Mayors Urge Lawmakers to Include 150M in Budget for Installations

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR A coalition of defense communities in Texas is asking the state Legislature to include $150 million in the next two-year budget to support military installations.The money would be allocated to the Texas Military Preparedness Commission for grants to help communities enhance installations.  The request, which represents only one-tenth of 1 percent of the nearly $150 billion that the state’s 15 installations bring to the Texas economy is “a very small price to pay to protect the military mission and jobs at Texas military installations,” wrote the Texas Mayors of Military Communities.“If state investment is going to make a difference in a future BRAC outcome, funding for projects is needed during the FY 2016-2017 biennium,” the request says.With the Pentagon eager to conduct a round of base closures, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price considers the funding a top priority.“Everybody’s had it on their radar for two or three years,” Price told the Star-Telegram. “We just don’t want to gamble on anything like that,” she added.Gov. Greg Abbot (R) has proposed providing the commission $30 million but has indicated he might support a larger investment. The House has proposed spending $75 million on community grants if the funds are available, while the Senate favors investing $30 million.A task force created during the last legislative session called for investing up to $150 million on grants.A House-Senate conference committee is slated to hash out the state budget for the next two years by June 1, according to the story.Separate legislation has advanced raising the cap on grants from the Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant program. Last month the Senate passed Senate Bill 318, which would increase the size of the community grants from $2 million to $5 million. Related legislation has been introduced in the House.last_img

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