The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Articles I, IV, and V met to discuss various agency funding requests. This report covers discussions and presentations on the following agencies:

  • Department of Public Safety
  • Overview of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Correctional Populations
  • Texas Juvenile Justice Department
  • Texas Department of Criminal Justice
  • Texas Military Department
  • Texas Commission on Law Enforcement
  • Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission


Individual presentations can be found on the sections of the hearing in bold. The full video can be found here, the notice can be found here, and the agenda and handouts can be found here.


This report is intended to give you an overview and highlight of the various topics taken up. It is not a verbatim transcript of the discussions but is based upon what was audible or understandable to the observer and the desire to get details out as quickly as possible with few errors or omissions.


Texas Department of Public Safety

Darren Albrecht, Legislative Budget Board

  • Presentation
  • $3B in all funds
  • $1.2B in GR for Operation Lone Star
  • Rider train academy recruitment payment
  • 10 Exceptional items $1.3B, 1697 FTEs, 8 rider requests
  • Bill removed handgun license at 21, HB 1927
  • $1.2B dollars in revenue for Operation Lonestar. Includes $693.1m appropriated


Colonel Stephen McCraw, Director of Texas Department of Public Safety

  • Real ID act has placed a burden on receiving ID’s from DPS and increased wait times, being that it is unfunded
  • DPS is requesting for additional law enforcement personnel, 181 troopers, 43 special agents, 26 Texas rangers 39 intelligence analyst
  • 550 Trooper vacancies currently active in Texas
  • Texas needs 5,200 troopers, department has 3,762 FTE’s
  • $380m request for a training center that would aid in helping train more and help coordinate with local law enforcement
  • Rep. Spiller – On crime lab performance and requesting $162.4m for it, why do you think there is a backlog currently with these things
    • Marijuana use for tests has been a reason for the backlog, the percentage level is from that and they are addressing the backlog helping localities with this as well
    • Partnering with Toyota to help with that, requesting more scientists as well
  • Rep. Spiller – Do you feel the border security amount is sufficient to do the job for the state?
    • No state has ever done more than Texas, so yes, we are hopeful for the Federal government to also shift the policy so there would be no need to spend this money
  • Chair Gonzalez – You told the committee you need 6100 personnel, how do you calculate staffing needs for Texas?
    • We look at a comprehensive threat assessment for certain areas, there are things like the northwestern police allocation model we look at
  • Chair Gonzalez – we are losing employees at an alarming rate, what are you hearing over reasons why people leave?
    • Retirement is one reason why there has been a higher increase of people leaving, we can project
  • Chair Gonzalez – were the training schools adequately funded?
    • Schools were not at capacity, ideally 150 per school (4 total). Presently they are anywhere from 120 to 106 on the low end
    • Continue to make the classes as large as possible
  • Chair Gonzalez – What was the social engineering attack that happened on the agency?
    • Unfortunately, there has been many breaches over the dark web and identifying information on people, they have not breached the actual system but there is information on people out in the public
  • Chair Gonzalez – How many Texans had a duplicate license issue?
    • At least 3,000 Texans, they took information from different areas and establish a account to go through it. Letters are going out to this effect this week
  • Chair Gonzalez – will there be federal fines for not informing identity theft victims?
    • No but we are pursuing this problem fully
  • Chair Gonzalez – When do you think the investigation will be completed?
    • It will be complete when all Texans have been notified and fully investigated
  • Rep. Johnson – With stops is there something we are looking at? Is there a profile we are looking at?
    • Unless there is probable cause then there is no profile
  • Rep. Johnson – when we look at Operation Lonestar, is it successful based on the number of migrants or drug trafficking?
    • It is any form of illegal entry into the United States, which includes migrants and drug trafficking in tandem
  • Chair Gonzalez – concern of attention being paid to what occurred in last legislative session, are you arresting women for criminal trespassing and or children?
    • We are arresting women now and detaining children
  • Rep. DeAyala – would these border counties be able to handle the volume of migrants  without operation Lonestar with regards to detainment
    • No, they would not be able to


Adult and Juvenile Correctional Populations

Lan Bolding, Legislative Budget Board

  • Presentation
  • Adult misdemeanor community supervision placements have decreased by 5% annually from FY 2019 to FY 2020 and continued to decline
  • Adult felony direct community supervision decreased significantly in FY 2020 and FY 2021 due to a reduce in placements
    • Projected increases expected in FY 2023 through FY 2026
  • Pandemic affect on parolees continued to be reviewed and released on parole, no steep drop-off, projecting it to go up due to increased incarcerations for FY 2023 and FY 2026


Eric Schroeder, Legislative Budget Board

  • Formal referrals for Juveniles were increased and increasing in FY 2022 and FY 2023


Texas Juvenile Justice Department

Kelsey Vela, Legislative Budget Board

  • Presentation
  • Recommending a total of $1 billion in all funds, an increase of $361.5m or 56%
  • Recommendation for institutional facilities and food services are an increase of $8.1m
  • Provide $133.7m for A12 basic departments or JPD’s based on referrals
  • $51.4m to provide salary adjustments to JPD employees
  • Higher turnover rates in the agency, 46% agency wide and 70% for Correctional Officers
  • $22m to provide funding for 40 additional pre-adjudication beds and 70 post adjudication beds for youth in local custody
  • Five items to increase local county resources, coming to $52.6m
  • Requesting $7 to track and monitor youth in the judicial system
  • $500,000 for cybersecurity enhancement
  • $200m for construction of a new state facility with a minimum of 200 beds
  • Four new riders on Human resources management plans, sunset contingency, the construct of new resources and facility and salary increases


Rachel Gandy, Project Manager of Sunset Advisory Commission

  • Turnover has been the highest for a state agency with TJJD
  • Sunset commission recommendations have two appropriations
    • Recommendation for facility locations, increased funding for new state secure facilities for $200m from the above
    • Sunset recommends increasing funding for TJJD so the agency can direct state grant dollars toward the operation of county level beds, $22m
  • Counties handle 90% of juvenile issues in Texas
  • Larger counties have juvenile detention facilities that they can use to help handle juveniles
  • Rep. Johnson – Is the problem really with facility location or is it more so with prison management, there is high turnover with little direction
    • We do not want to have the same issues with this agency, there are many factors that the agency faces and making sure that there is higher pay so there is higher retention will increase
    • The initial raise last summer led to a decrease in employees leaving within 60 days
    • New facilities are to help with transportation and attract more employees to work with TJJD
  • Rep. Johnson – Why are we seeing an increase in juveniles in detention without earmarking enough funds towards juvenile detention prevention?
    • The projection detention for juveniles is going up because of Texas being in a post-COVID period
    • The money for treatment is partially up to the legislature, there needs to be staff in place to help with trauma and health facilities, so pay raises and operational changes have decreased some turnover with these facilities
    • TJJD has exceptional items for three smaller facilities that would give specialized treatment to that effect
  • Chair Gonzalez – can you walk me through why there
    • Sunset recommended there should be a new proposal to have subcommittees to be able to
  • Rep. DeAyala – because of the age, there is a timeframe, is there a metric where we can see if folks have completed and finished their terms and gotten back into prison
    • 43% reincarceration rate within three years for youth


Shandra Carter, Executive Director Texas Juvenile Justice Department

Emily Anderson, Chief Financial Officer for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department

  • First exceptional item is fully funding the office of inspector general
    • We had to move $875,000 from our budget to theirs
  • Salary adjustments for professional staff, asking for 25% increases for our mental health providers
  • Seeking increases for professional staff to be on par with other state agencies
  • Increases in UTMB nursing salaries, 15% increases for them
  • Increase cost for pre and post adjudication, 25% more to help cover both these areas
  • Expanding the TJJD probation team, seeking out more administrators for every region
  • Validated risk and need assessment is an unfunded mandate for the counties, seeking funding for that program
  • Prevention and intervention to keep juveniles out of the system to create grants to help with prevention
  • Rep. Spiller – I represent 12 counties, we have a juvenile justice crisis, there is a lack of beds and the issue is with pre-adjudication. We have issues with no beds in my district and there is no place to put them in detention, is there anything we can do here to ease the burden on counties?
    • There needs to be more facility management for these bed, increasing base salaries for JPO’s and JCO’s will relieve some pressure here
  • Rep. Johnson – Have we learned more about the exits of staff, is it money or is it something else?
    • We do annual surveys and absolutely funding staff is critical to maintain safe facilities
  • Chair Gonzalez – Are the exceptional items in order of priorities?
    • Yes ma’am, we restructured our requests based on what we saw on HB. 1 and reworked the entire list


Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Cory Sharp, Legislative Budget Board

  • Presentation
  • Recommendations provide 8 billion and all funds are an increase of $877.2m increases from the 2022, 2023 biennium
  • $761.4m in CRFGR Swaps
  • $300.1m for a salary increase
  • CSCD’s recommendations provide for $607.7m and an increase of $11.8m
  • $47.8m to provide additional funding for basic operations
  • $48.7m to fund per diem rate increases for operations
  • $1.1B in funding to aid state correctional facilities with
  • $76.7m for second priority exceptional item to fund competitive contracts
  • $24m to operate two units for Operation Lonestar
  • Recommendations include $200,000 to allow board of pardons to relocate offices in San Antonio
  • $717m for 15 further exceptional items that also include requests for an additional 99 FTE’s


Bryan Collier, Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice

  • Correctional officer staffing is the number one priority, there was a 15% pay increase for them
    • 1500 new positions filled since April
  • 18 new self harm units within the system for high-risk prisoner units
  • Contracts with private prisons in Texas that need to be closed by the end of the fiscal year
  • $38.6m replacing pieces of capital equipment
  • TDCJ needing funding for camera equipment for monitoring capacities
  • There has been an increase in contraband in TDCJ facilities, dangerous drugs being 492% over the last five years
  • Narcan use in prisons has been rising per year given the drug flow
  • 12 parolee ankle monitor investigators to help pursue people who would cut their ankle monitors off
  • TDCJ is seeking funding for restoration of facilities and is accounting for half of the request to $256m
  • Rep. Johnson – Elderly population growing in Texas prisons, we see there is a trend in aging populations going up
    • The number is going up, we track that as 55 and above, the number continues to climb to 20,000 out of 125,000 inmates total in the state
  • Rep. Johnson – how do we reduce those healthcare costs for these people?
    • We see more inmates who cannot be in general population given health circumstances, with funding for sheltered housing
    • Increase costs in healthcare account for aging persons need with regards from heat vulnerability to individual needs
  • Collier and members discuss monitoring inmate costs
  • Chair Gonzales – Percentage of those in solitary confinement who commit suicide
    • 2% of the population is in solitary confinement and about 20% of suicides are those in solitary confinement
    • Are mental health issues with this population to address; are reasons for restrictive housing; have reduced these types of beds
  • Chair Gonzales – $309m exceptional item for Correctional Managed Health Care? Concerned about the ability to deliver care without this appropriation
    • Have not been able to recruit/retain staff; salary issue primary focus
    • Patients have the constitutional rights to service; other states have had these issues taken to federal court


Texas Military Department

Kelsey Vela, Legislative Budget Board

  • Presentation
  • Overviews base budget recommendations; LBB presentation here
  • Are 17 exceptional items totaling $387m in GR


Thomas Seltzer, Adjunct General TMD

  • While missions have increased, have funded programs/projects conservatively
  • Highlights exceptional item requests including $15m for state tuition assistance, $12m for the Texas cloud network, $176m for armory revitalization projects
  • Chair Gonzalez – Does the agency have enough funds to continue Operation Lone Star?
    • After March will need additional funds totaling $459m
    • After March will request additional funds from the Office of the Governor
  • Chair Gonzalez and Seltzer discuss EI request for tuition assistance


Texas Commission on Law Enforcement

Haley Ewing, Legislative Budget Board

  • Presentation
  • TCOL is recommended for $16.1m for the biennium
    • Change of 50,000
  • $1.8m to upgrade t-club
  • $500,000 to update data services
  • $1.3m for the school marshal program
  • Peer network comes out to $1.3m


Andrew McConnell, Sunset Commission

  • In the re-review, Texas’s law enforcement regulation lags behind state needs
  • Sunset recommends continuing TCOL for 12 years
  • TCOL is recommended to temporarily suspend licenses in cases of imminent threats to public health, safety, or welfare
  • Commission recommends removing discharge categories which are redundant


John Beauchamp, Executive Director of Texas Commission on law enforcement

  • TCOL’s first priority is to create more digital transformation and data management, meeting sunset recommendations for licensee lookup
  • Second priority is on recruitment and on retention, to align TCOL salaries with other Texas agencies under similar scope
  • Thirdly, receiving a legal staff and personnel to help manage the legal aspects of licensing
  • Rep. Allison – The school Marshall program provides an 80-hour training program for school employees and you are asking for $1.3m, is that because demand is up?
    • The demand is not up it is just for the training aspect, it is for civilians who have CHL’s that are an employee with the school only


Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission

Darren Albert LBB

  • Presentation
  • $106.2m for the biennium
    • $1.1m increase from the previous one
  • Reducing and simplifying the license and application process is a priority funding opportunity
  • Once fully implemented it will replace 18 independent tech systems with licensing
  • Five exceptional items $23.2m


Kevin Lilly, Commission Chair

  • Manufacturers of distilled spirits has gone up by 200% from previous years
  • Fewer agents than they did 10 years ago, less agents with a growing industry
  • Reduced waiting times for liquor licenses from 62 to 31 days now due to more technology, cutting down on times is a priority for the commission
  • Sunset Commission tasked TABC with human trafficking prevention investigation authority in restaurants, bars, and hotels
  • Asking for 30 additional agents, technology, and salary increases
  • Rep. DeAyala – One complaint I have heard is the licensing time to get a liquor license, how do we fix that
    • We have been transitioning from paper to digital still and we have been focusing on trying to make efficiency with technology
  • Chair Gonzalez – Do you feel the $10m will alleviate some stresses to help small businesses get licenses
    • We are trying to be more efficient with these things and given our overhaul of our system a few sessions ago we are trying to lessen wait times


Public Comment

Roberto Lopez, Advocacy manager at the Texas Civil Rights Project

  • Opposing funding for Operation Lonestar and opposing a wall, further increases to salaries
  • Discussing how locals in the Rio Grande Valley are opposed to DPS highspeed pursuits
  • Supportive of moving money towards long term care shelters instead of going towards law enforcement


Gage Brown, Citizen from Kinney County

  • Opposed to Operation Lonestar, citing highspeed chases causing 30 deaths in her area
  • Supportive of investing in humanitarian organizations


Bob Libel, Consultant at Human Rights Watch

  • Opposed to Operation Lonestar, says there is numerous failings on the intentions of this project
  • Citing highspeed vehicle pursuits


Jaime Puente, Director of Economic opportunity for Every Texan

  • Opposed to operation Lonestar


Alicia Torres, Team member of Grassroots leadership

  • Do not fund Operation Lonestar to the tune of 4.6 billion dollars
  • Supportive of funding education and other programs instead of this program


Richard Jankowsky, President of Department of Public Safety Officers association

  • Supportive of budget recommendations for the pay raises


David Johnson, Research Organizer for Grassroots Leadership

  • 4 billion towards Lonestar is not good, they should spend it towards the $11.3m people with substance abuse issues


Ray Hemel, Texas Public Employees Association

  • Thankful to the committee for pushing for salary increases for various state agencies
  • Specialized staff are in major need of increasing pay raises separately from the standard base increases


Sheena Rodriguez, Alliance for a Safe Texas

  • Supportive of Operation Lonestar, wanting more brush teams
  • Supportive of arresting juvenile or teen smugglers


Rachel Shannon, Citizen

  • Against Operation Lonestar
  • Claims there is a lot of racist harassment on the border


Bethenny Carson, citizen

  • Against Operation Lonestar


Coopali Kumar, Citizen

  • Against prison expansion for Juveniles for TJJD


Alicia Castillo, Policy Director for Texas Center for Justice and Equity

  • Concerned with TJJD facilities and sexual assault allegations of inmates, which is under DOJ investigation now


Jenny Hixon, Texas Civil Rights Project

  • Supportive of air conditioning being in prisons in Texas, funding all facilities so people can be held in humane conditions
  • Against furthered facilities to hold kids in detention facilities
  • Rep. Johnson – what are some best practices as opposed to jailing kids and for prevention?
    • Basic things like housing and affordable wages can be best practices, secondary prevention having timely care to prevent anything bad


Adam Haynes, Texas Conference of Urban Counties

  • Supportive of measures for money to come back to counties from TJJD


Martin Martinez, Policyworker at Texas Appleseed

  • Against massive prison-like structures to rehabilitate youth back into society


Lizette Galvan, Public Policy Director of NAMI Texas

  • Supportive of $8.5m for mental health services in the criminal justice system


Amite Dominick, Texas Prisons Community Advocates

  • Supportive of getting more preventative care within the prison system
  • High levels of officer retention is necessary for inmates to stay safe within cells and also receiving proper air conditioning to maintain quality of life


Yoon Kim, Director of the Collin County Community Supervision and Corrections Department

  • Supportive of HB 1 and all riders


David Almager, Director of Battering Prevention Services

  • Supportive of funding for battery accountability


Luis Soberon, Policy Adviser of 2036

  • Support on jail standards exceptional item for data analysts
  • Supportive of higher standards for prisoner treatment


Maria Jose Angeli, Texas Council on Family funding

  • Supportive of present funding and the rider for $3.5m
  • Requesting additional funding of 1.5m


Kirk Nowaker, Commission of Jail Standards

  • Proposing training for persons with IDD for communication and making a more robust screening process at jail centers
  • Trying to create more screening processes for the judicial system


Sallandria Johnson Foster, TPCA solitary confinement campaign

  • Has issues with how cooling beds in prisons are in solitary confinement cells


Jorge Renaud, national criminal justice director

  • Finding alternative ways of not working with corporate prisons, not supportive of prison plans and contract plans


Justin Martinez, Texas Center for Justice Equity

  • Supportive of lawmakers looking to close TDCJ facilities, not to overburden jails as well in the process


Griffin Brennan, Texas Appleseed

  • Supportive of hiring more mental health trained professionals on how to deal with crisis management for mental health

Juan Pedrasa, Texas Liquor Enforcement Agents

  • Support for House Bill 1 for this proposal, for salaries for enforcement personnel and supportive of more law enforcement officers
  • Supportive of pay parity for other similarly regulated agencies