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Senator Jane Nelson: District 12
Senator Jane Nelson
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2021
Contact: Michael Ruggieri
(512) 463-0112
TEXAS LEGISLATURE APPROVES SB 8, APPROPRIATING FEDERAL FUNDS

AUSTIN — The Texas Legislature approved the Conference Committee Report for Senate Bill 8 by Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, appropriating federal funds designated for Texas in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The bill now moves to the Governor’s desk.

"These dollars will help us continue to fight COVID-19, address a wide range of needs and provide a major boost to our economic recovery," Senator Nelson said. "These are strategic, one-time investments that will help us move beyond the pandemic and keep Texas strong, prosperous, and healthy."

SB 8 appropriates a total of $13.3 billion from ARPA -- $12.8 billion from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund and another $500.5 million from the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund, including:

  • $7.2 billion to replenish the Unemployment Compensation Fund, ensuring that businesses are not faced with an increase in unemployment taxes due to pandemic-related layoffs;
  • $2 billion to deploy healthcare surge staffing, purchase therapeutic drugs, and support regional infusion centers;
  • $500.5 million for broadband expansion, with $75 million of those funds designated for a broadband pole replacement program (out of the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund);
  • $400 million to address critical staffing needs for nursing facilities, assisted living centers, home health agencies, intermediate care facilities, community attendants, and emergency medical services;
  • $75 million in one-time grants for rural hospitals;
  • $25 million to streamline the Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program enrollment processes and modernize the state's Medicaid eligibility system;
  • $20 million for the Texas Federally Qualified Health Center Incubator Program;
  • $286 million to the Teacher Retirement System to cover COVID-related health claims and to ensure no active or retired teacher faces an increase in health care premiums due to the pandemic;
  • $325 million for construction projects at institutions of higher education, contingent on the passage of legislation;
  • $40 million the Texas Epidemic Public Health Institute;
  • $15 million in grants for re-skilling and upskilling programs at Texas' community colleges;
  • $300 million for a State Operations Center to aid in disaster response;
  • $200 million to bolster cybersecurity;
  • $160 million to shore up funding for organizations serving sexual assault survivors and other crime victims;
  • $24 million to address backlogs in the judicial system;
  • $1.2 million to fund a new IT system for Children's Advocacy Centers;
  • $237.8 million to complete construction of a new state psychiatric hospital in Dallas;
  • $113 million to the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium to expand mental health treatment options for young Texans struggling with depression and suicide;
  • $35 million to upgrade filtration and ventilation systems at Texas veterans homes;
  • $200 million to provide grants to support the tourism industry; and
  • $100 million to support Texas food banks, including $5 million for home-delivered meals, to serve high numbers of Texans experiencing food insecurity.
SENATOR JANE NELSON represents District 12, including portions of Tarrant and Denton Counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the highest-ranking Republican in the Texas Senate.

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