Preliminary Summary of the FY 2012-13 General Appropriations Bill, as Introduced, House VersionI hadn't realized until reading this that prison and parole staff not only won't be getting any pay raises under the proposed budget, by not making permanent raises received in the last biennium, they're actually getting a pay reduction!
As stated in an email yesterday, the House version of the general appropriations bill was filed on Wednesday, January 19, 2011. Below is a short summary of the proposed reductions specific to probation; following that is the impact to other TDCJ functions. The general appropriations bill is typically filed in both the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate, and a similar summary of the Senate version will be sent when it becomes available. It is important to remember the bill, as introduced, is only the starting point for budget deliberations occurring during the legislative session. TDCJ will work closely with members of the legislature and the Governor’s Office throughout the next five months to ensure they have accurate information regarding the impact of various reductions on operations and staff. Final decisions regarding appropriations for the FY 2012 – 2013 biennium will only be made after intensive review by legislators and numerous opportunities for input in the budget process. All TDCJ operations and programs were reduced and the bill, as filed, would eliminate over 2,000 positions within TDCJ alone. The reduction in probation funding would also eliminate staff positions in the local CSCDs. I will be calling upon you to help with an impact analysis for your departments so, as it is necessary, we can present information both at a state level and a local level. During our webinar next week and each of the "Coffee with Carey" sessions, I will be asking questions regarding budget impact; tomorrow we plan to send spreadsheets for you to review how the House bill, as introduced, would impact your formula lines; this is another step to identify criticality of services/functions within departments. After Legislative committees are named, it is anticipated that hearings will be scheduled quickly; therefore, it will be imperative for you to identify how this initial bill (and the Senate bill, as filed) will impact your department. I look forward to our discussions and the energy I know you will contribute to this process. More soon, Carey
The House appropriations bill, as initially filed:
• Eliminates funding for misdemeanor probation supervision and reduces the felony probation formula funding per diem to $1.37, based on the LBB June 2010 population projections
• Reduces treatment/diversion programs as initially funded by the 80th Legislature, to include the elimination of 800 probation residential treatment beds and program funding for medically targeted substance abuse treatment (currently aftercare treatment services), and a reduction of one-half ($2.5 million annually) for probation outpatient substance abuse treatment; state-contracted intermediate sanction facility beds were also reduced.
• Excludes funding required for the biennialization of the FY 2010-11 approved pay raise for community supervision officers and direct care staff
• Eliminates program funding for the Harris County Community Corrections Facility, the Battering Intervention and Prevention Program and made substantial funding reductions to Treatment Alternatives to Incarceration Program (90%)
• Reduces funding levels for mental health services and continuity of care for adult offenders
For other TDCJ functions, the House Appropriations bill, as initially filed:
INCARCERATION & TREATMENT:
• Directs the agency to close the Central Unit no later than September 1, 2011
• Reduces staffing and funding for core operational areas within the incarceration function (such as correctional unit support staff, utilities, maintenance, and agriculture operations)
• Excludes funding required for the biennialization of the FY 2010-11 approved pay raise for correctional officers and unit staff
• Freezes the salaries of all correctional officers, ranking correctional officers, and food service and laundry managers, at a rate not to exceed their salary as of August 2011
• Reduces funding for over 1,100 substance abuse treatment slots
• Reduces funding for adult offender release payments by 50%
• Eliminates funding for approximately 2,000 beds in Contract Facilities
• Eliminates program funding for Academic/Vocational Training for offenders
• Eliminates staffing and funding for Project Re-Integration of Offenders (RIO), the chaplaincy program and reentry transitional coordinators and reduces funding for sex offender treatment program
• Reduces funding levels for offender Psychiatric Care, Unit Care, Hospital Care, and Pharmacy, and would eliminate staffing and program funding of the Correctional Managed Healthcare Committee.
• Provides no general obligation bond funding for major facility repairs in FY 2012-13
• Reduces staffing and funding for nearly 100 parole officers and parole support staff
• Eliminates funding for approximately 550 halfway house and intermediate sanction facility beds
• Excludes funding required for the biennialization of the FY 2010-11 approved pay raise for parole officers
• Freezes the salaries of all parole officers at a rate not to exceed their salary as of August 2011
ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT OPERATIONS:
• Eliminates staffing and program funding for the Victim Services Division
• Reduces staffing and funding levels for all other administrative and support functions (for example, Central Administration, Information Technology, Office of Inspector General, State Counsel for Offenders, and Health Services)
Wrote the probation director who forwarded this to me (italics in original), "This doesn’t just cut us; it guts us."
See related, recent Grits posts: