Texas Budget Would Slash Aid for Poor to Boost Prison Spending
The proposed $67.3 billion Texas State budget would substantially boost prison spending while holding the line on taxes through deep cuts in social programs. The programs to be cut: family planning to more than 130,000 Texans, and a reduction by 13,000 in the number of elderly eligible for state nursing home care. State funding for the federal nutrition program for pregnant women would be entirely eliminated (Wayne Slater, "Budget Plan Would Boost Prison Funds: $67.3 Billion Proposal Reduces Aid for Poor," The Dallas Morning News, 1/14/93, 27A).
Almost half -- 43 percent -- of the projected increase of 5.2 percent, equal to $1.8 billion, from existing taxes would go to increased prison spending. The money, about $780 million, would be enough to fully staff nine new prisons now being built. Some of the prison funding would help ease overcrowding and provide drug treatment and psychiatric care for prisoners.