FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2011
(512) 463-0120 office
(Austin, TX) — Today, the Conference Committee Report on Senate Bill 2- a General Appropriations Bill for the 82nd Special Session was approved by the Senate. This bill supplements the work put into Senate Bill 7 and Senate Bill 1, all of which are necessary to balance the state budget.
The Senator strongly believes Senate Bill 2 is a major step forward for job training and public safety in Texas. These issues have been a priority for the Senator throughout the 82nd regular and special session and his strong commitment to these matters will continue.
The Senate Bill 2 Conference Committee Report includes several items the Senator is very proud of: funding for the Jet Program and border security initiatives - more specifically, four tactical vessels (boats) and weapons for Rio Grande River operations.
"We have learned from our law enforcement officials that we do not have the necessary equipment to fight off cartels at the border," Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa said. "Senate Bill 2 changes that. The bill makes $1,066,667 million available for border security initiatives, including $800,000 for tactical vessels. These boats will expand the tools our law enforcement agents have at their disposal to make our communities safer."
Senate Bill 2: Section 26 - Jet Program funding (an estimated $5,000,000)
Senate Bill 2: Section 30 - Appropriated GR for 12-13 biennium $1,066, 667 for border security
1: $800,000 tactical vessels (boats)
2: $266,667 for weapons
3: $133,333 for operating costs
The additional funding allows DPS to increase their tactical boat numbers from three to five and supplies Texas Parks and Wildlife with two boats of their own for the same purpose. The extra funding found in Senate Bill 2 complements border security funding Senator Hinojosa was able to secure during the 82nd Regular Legislative Session:
- $4 million for the Border Prosecution Unit from the Governor's Trustee Grant Program
- $9 million for a High Altitude Surveillance Aircraft
- $2.5 million for new gas-tank-rated Fiber-optic Scopes (These prevent gas tank explosions when agents check gas tanks for drugs)
- $56 million for a 9 hour work day for DPS Troopers. (This money and this initiative give Texans additional work hours equivalent to 300 new troopers without having hire and train additional individuals).