While berating the Obama Administration for not providing FEMA money to fight the wildfires across Texas, The Gov is holding back 49.7 million dollars which could be used immediately to aid the firefighters who in many cases are having to pay for gear out of their own pockets. The Gov’s office is in charge of distributing the money from The Disaster Contingency Fund to local governments in cases of emergencies just like the state is encountering right now.
The Gov has said that the fund would “be used to pay costs associated with pre-positioning state resources in anticipation of disasters; reimburse local jurisdictions for disasters that do not meet federal disaster declaration standards; provide up-front funding to smaller jurisdictions that lack the necessary resources to conduct large-scale emergency operations; and pay the federal matching fund obligations that are required for reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).”
Lawmakers have tried to put more money in the fund, especially in the wake of the past few hurricanes, but The Gov has shot down any such expenditures in the wake of the worst budget deficit in modern history. The Gov said his office will have to evaluate everything first before making any decisions about disaster funding, including requests from lawmakers for a special session to consider tapping into the Rainy Day Fund to help pay for these unprecedented disasters the State is encountering.
It appears as if The Gov, in the midst of his presidential campaign, is playing up to his Teabagger base and promoting their mantra “everyman for himself”. Lawmakers need to override any veto threat and demand help for the people of this great State.