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Mon May 11, 2020, 08:06 PM

Texas has billions in its rainy day fund. But legislators say they won't use it until January.

by Clare Proctor, Texas Tribune

As Texas’ economy reels from a monthlong shutdown of commerce statewide, unprecedented unemployment and falling oil prices, some Texans are calling on officials to tap into the state’s Economic Stabilization Fund that has billions of tax dollars officials have been saving for years.

For weeks, Texans’ attempts to access unemployment benefits, food giveaways and housing aid have swamped government agencies and nonprofits. Kelly Hayden, who works at a San Antonio call center for a defense health agency, said state lawmakers should tap the savings fund to provide economic relief for people struggling to stay afloat financially during the pandemic.

“Either with food banks or to help with people’s bills or just need to make their money last another month or two,” Hayden said.

Texas voters created the account, also called the rainy day fund, after the oil bust of the late 1980s, according to the Texas comptroller’s website. Chris Bryan, a spokesperson for the Texas comptroller’s office, told The Texas Tribune that the account’s balance is $10.2 billion.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2020/05/11/texas-economy-rainy-day/

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