Billions in Federal Coronavirus Aid Disbursed by Texas Legislature

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  • Source: The Texan
  • 10/22/2021
The State of Texas had $16 billion in federal coronavirus aid at its disposal from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and lawmakers disbursed all of it during the third called special session this year that ended Monday evening.

Making up the largest portion of the final version’s total is a $7.2 billion replenishment of the state’s unemployment insurance fund that was depleted during the pandemic. Texas had to take out $6.9 billion in federal loans after its balance was used up early on in 2020. This injection will pay those off and replenish some into the fund that was used up.

The legislature also set aside $3 billion itemized for property tax relief during the 88th regular session in 2023. They will conduct a study during the interim to identify how to deploy those funds. This disbursement was delayed likely because Congress prohibited ARPA dollars from being used to cut taxes in any form. But that stipulation is currently being challenged in court and an Ohio district judge already ruled against the congressional condition.

A $2 billion item was settled on to increase health care staffing and buttress the industry’s response to coronavirus.