Senate Bill 8 Conference Committee Items for Consideration

As the Senate Bill 8 conference committee convenes to discuss the differences in the appropriation of the $16.3 Billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding, Texas 2036 would like to encourage the conference committee members to consider the following principles in deciding how to deploy these federal funds:

  • Target Long-Term Solutions: Pursue prudent, data-driven investments that will positively impact our state for decades to come and reduce future costs.
  • Seek Financial Sustainability: This money represents a temporary cash infusion, so the primary focus should be on one-time costs or expenses, including investments that will either generate future revenues or offset future costs.
  • Coordinate Efforts to Maximize Impact: Governments, agencies and private sector organizations can make the biggest difference by working together.

Throughout the special session the Legislature has considered many worthwhile items for funding. Texas 2036 offers the following list of items for consideration, which are a non-exhaustive list of impactful options available to the legislature that comply with the principles listed above. These items have been vetted for meeting the above principles, include broad public support, and are in compliance with U.S. Department of Treasury guidelines.

Items for Consideration Senate Funding House Funding Difference Recommended Action Explanation
Unemployment Compensation Fund $7.2 Billion $6.4 Billion House  Appropriates $846.2 Million Less Adopt Senate Backfills the Unemployment Trust Fund, preventing tax increases for employers
Broadband Expansion $500.5 Million $450.2 Million House Appropriates $50.3 Million Less Adopt Senate Expands broadband infrastructure across the state
State Cybersecurity Projects $200.0 Million $703,342 House Appropriates $199.3 Million Less Adopt Senate Addresses increased cybersecurity threats since start of pandemic
Dallas State Hospital $237.8 Million $237.8 Million None Adopt Item; House includes in HB 161 Construction of a new Dallas State Hospital facilty
Next Generation 911 Upgrades $0.00 $149.9 Million Senate Does Not Include Adopt House Improves emergency communications technology and public safety response
Children’s Advocacy Center IT Improvements $1.2 Million $0.00 House Does Not Include Item Adopt Senate Improves IT Case Management for Children’s Advocacy Centers
Medicaid IT System Upgrade $5.0 Million $0.00 House Does Not Include Item Adopt Senate Upgrades Information Technology for the Medicaid program
Reskilling/Upskilling for Texans $15.0 Million $15.0 Million None No Difference; Adopt Item Bolsters Workforce Development in Texas
Federal Hospital Transperancy Rule Directive No Language Language included Senate Does Not Include Adopt House Encourages Price Transparency in Texas Hospitals
Federal Funds Transparency Directive No Language Language included Senate Does Not Include Adopt House Tracks Federal Funds Spending