Abbott Cuts County Funding
Governor ices county for $1.8 million payout over immigration reforms
By Sarah Marloff, Fri., Feb. 3, 2017
Gov. Greg Abbott's attack on Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez's noncompliance with U.S. Immigrations & Customs Enforcement continues. On Wednesday, the governor made good on his promise to cut off a stream of grant funding that'll drain $1.5 million from the county. Abbott's Criminal Justice Division grant is typically worth $1.8 million (the amount Abbott will bar in future years should his grandstanding continue), but $300,000 has already been paid out for the year. Funds received through the grant help the county with its substance abuse diversion programs and family violence courts. County Judge Sarah Eckhardt confirmed the cuts during a Wednesday press conference, calling Abbott's decision "foolhardy." The judge reiterated that the affected programs are not related to the sheriff or ICE, but instead serve as Abbott's way of serving "retribution," despite the fact that Hernandez's ICE policy is "well within current law." Alan Miller, the county's assistant budget director, said the Commissioners Court will need to make an immediate decision on whether these programs will continue, but noted that there does exist a short-term safety net in county finances.
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