AUSTIN – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued this statement today following Comptroller Glenn Hegar’s revised Certification Revenue Estimate (CRE) for the 2020-21 biennium:
“Today the Comptroller released an estimate of a $4.58 billion shortfall, which shows the extreme stress that has been placed on the Texas economy both by the pandemic and the dramatic decrease in oil production. The Comptroller also said that Texas is better prepared than most states to withstand these challenges. We have managed our budget wisely. Thankfully, we have $8.7 billion in our Rainy Day Fund, which we have protected from those who would spend virtually all of it every legislative session. The Rainy Day Fund was created to help Texas through downturns like this in the economy.
“The Comptroller’s estimate includes our commitment to fully funding our schools, including teacher pay raises, and an additional $500 million to $700 million for COVID-19 expenses through the federal CARES Act. In this time of unprecedented uncertainty, the health of Texans is our top priority. But, as the Comptroller’s report makes clear, it is critically important that Texas continue to remain open so we can make a strong economic recovery as soon as possible. ”