Dan Cohen AUTHOR After securing $30 million in defense economic adjustment assistance in Texas’ budget for the fiscal 2016-2017 biennium to help support local installations, defense communities in the state are going to continue their campaign for $150 million to fend off a looming BRAC round.The lobbyist for Texas Mayors of Military Communities intends to meet with lawmakers from districts without bases to explain the significance of the state’s military presence, reports the El Paso Times.Gov. Greg Abbott (R) had initially proposed allocating $30 million to the Texas Military Preparedness Commission in the new budget, but lawmakers almost ignored the request. Last month Snapper Carr, the Texas Mayors’ lobbyist, and others mounted a last-minute effort to add the funds to the budget.“The governor’s office and the speaker’s office took the initiative,” Carr said, referring to House Speaker Joe Straus (R).Texas lawmakers separately passed legislation raising the cap on community grants from the Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant program from $2 million to $5 million. The grant program, administered by the Texas Military Preparedness Commission, hasn’t been funded since 2009, according to the story.Officials from defense communities are eager to apply for the state grants, reports the San Angelo Times. The funds are “absolutely critical,” said state Rep. Drew Darby (R), who represents San Angelo, home of Goodfellow Air Force Base. “We want to make sure we do everything we can do to demonstrate how important Goodfellow is to the state and to the nation,” Darby said.
Texas Communities to Pursue Higher Level of Funding to Support Installations