AUSTIN – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued this statement today following the Texas Senate’s unanimous passage of Senate Bill 22, Assisting Rural Law Enforcement Funding – Increasing Pay and Needed Equipment, by Sen. Drew Springer, R-Muenster:
“The Biden Administration’s failure to perform their constitutional duty to secure the southern border means that every county sheriff and prosecutor in Texas is a border sheriff or border prosecutor in addition to their normal duties to protect and serve their citizens. In many counties, elected sheriffs and their deputies are covering thousands of square miles of territory with little or no backup.
“As I traveled through rural Texas last year, I was shocked to learn how little some of our elected sheriffs and their deputies were earning. There are elected sheriffs in Texas earning just over $30,000 per year and their deputies earning less than that. It is difficult to find men and women to take these dangerous jobs at these pay levels. That is why I named SB 22 a priority this session.
“For the first time in Texas history, the state is assisting in funding law enforcement in rural counties. SB 22 establishes the Rural Sheriff’s Office Salary Assistance Grant Program and the Rural Prosecutor’s Office Salary Assistance Grant Program. These programs are available to sheriff’s and prosecutor’s offices located in the 236 Texas counties with a population of less than 300,000. SB 22 provides $350 million to help increase sheriff, deputy, jailer, and prosecutor pay, hire their backups, and purchase much-needed vehicles, firearms, and safety equipment.”
“In Texas, we believe in the rule of law. By passing SB 22 today, the Texas Senate has reiterated its commitment to supporting the brave men and women of law enforcement.”