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Abbott Wants To Tap Into Rainy Day Fund For Harvey Relief

Ryan E. Poppe
Texas Public Radio

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he approves using the Rainy Day Fund to provide additional aid for the State’s Harvey relief efforts. But using the state’s Economic Stabilization Fund won’t require calling lawmakers back for a second special session.

At a press conference in San Antonio, Gov. Abbott was asked how he felt about using the state’s savings account, more commonly known as the Rainy Day Fund.

“Most people understand that Texas will be tapping into the Rainy Day Fund. The important issue I think is that we address the economic issues appropriately. We need to first understand what obligations and decide upon the best strategies to pay for that," Abbott says.

And that doesn’t necessarily require Abbott to call lawmakers back to the capitol in the near future. The Governor’s office says the he has the power to shift funds around from various state agencies and then in 2019 lawmakers could redistribute the money.

Both House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who heads up the Texas Senate, agree with the governor and believe there is no need to call a special session to approve the state’s use of the Rainy Day Fund to help the rebuilding efforts along the Texas Gulf Coast.