Eighteen months after Hurricane Harvey and Texas lawmakers have yet to give specifics about how much, if any, state funding will be sent to communities along the Gulf Coast.
The short answer is Gov. Abbott did not make Harvey relief a top priority as the Legislative session got underway.
“Right now everybody is preoccupied with how to fill the hole they're about to create with this property tax reform,” says Harvey Kronberg at The Quorum Report.
There are several proposals that would tap the state's rainy day fund of hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars.
“You've got a lot of heavy lifters – including the Speaker and Lt. Governor who come from that region -- so it's hard to believe it's going to be ignored. It's just not ripe yet for this stage in the legislative process.”
Other lawmakers oppose the move, citing billions of dollars expected to come down from the feds.
“My understanding is there's about $17 billion that we can draw down if we come up with about a billion-and-a-half,” says Kronberg. “Once you have a government shutdown and China negotiations, there's a lot of moving parts and a lot of uncertainty coming out of D.C., not just out of Austin.”