• $4.7 billion in All Funds is provided for the incarceration and treatment of adult offenders. This reflects an increase of $80.9 million in General Revenue Funds primarily caused by state approved salary increases in fiscal year 2009; increased funding for correctional security equipment and reentry transitional coordinators; multi-year contract rate increases; increased funding for initiatives provided by the Eightieth Legislature, 2007; vehicle replacements; healthcare equipment replacements; and increased costs for food, overtime, utilities, hazardous duty pay, and adjustments to the corrections officer career ladder in fiscal year 2009. The recommendations include a decrease of $27.6 million in General Revenue Funds for contracted temporary capacity based on January 2009 population projections.The base budget includes a 5% pay hike for Texas prison guards. Tomorrow will be the real free for all when more than 400 riders (floor amendments) will be considered in what's sure to be an excruciating and grueling session. The Senate version contained more money for both prison diversion programs and guard pay.
• $401.5 million in All Funds is provided for residential services provided by the Texas Youth Commission. This represents a reduction of $40.9 million in General Revenue Funds primarily caused by an institutional capacity reduction of 1,841 beds; a reduction in contracted capacity based on institutional reductions and January 2009 population projections; efficiency reductions; and one-time appropriations made by the Eightieth Legislature, 2007, for video surveillance equipment and an electronic medical records system. Recommendations for fiscal years 2010-11 include funding for the continued operation of the Victory Field Correctional Academy and the West Texas Regional Facility; two 48-bed state-operated leased facilities; additional specialized treatment; regional community reentry and specialized after-care pilot programs; an automated risk assessment and data sharing system; and radio communication upgrades and replacements.
• $82.1 million in All Funds is provided for border security operations including funding for law enforcement surge operations, Joint Operation and Intelligence Centers, the Border Security Operation Center, a Regional Emergency Operations Center and crime lab in Laredo, upgrades to Texas Task Force II in Dallas, Department of Public Safety personnel and aviation support.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
House budget would spend $5 billion-plus on corrections without big prison guard raises
Here's LBB's big-picture summary (pdf) of criminal justice funding in the base budget coming out of the House Appropriations Committee to be debated on the floor this week: