Texas Governor Greg Abbott transferred $495M from other state agencies Friday to continue funding his border initiative, Operation Lone Star. Nearly all of the money is earmarked for the Texas National Guard. Abbott took this action with the approval of Lt Gov Dan Patrick, Texas Speaker of the House Dade Phelan, and chief Texas Legislature budget writers.
The decision was necessary to shift funding from the budgets of various state agencies to pay the Texas National Guardsmen because that funding is running out as of May 1. This latest financial move puts the total cost of the two-year efforts to protect the Texas border at $4 billion. Texas taxpayers are on the hook for Biden’s border crisis. Now the governor is transferring money to cover costs as the Texas Military Department warned that funding was running out.
There are 10,000 troops deployed for Operation Lone Star, Abbott’s border security initiative. 6,000 National Guard troops are stationed along the border. They help state troopers apprehend and jail illegal migrants trespassing on private property. State lawmakers allotted more than $400M for the Texas Military Department last year. That amount was in the two-year budget period, part of a $1.8B package paying for a surge in Department of Public Safety (DPS) troops to the border.
Then in late January, just a few months into the fiscal year, Abbott and state leaders moved about $480M from three state agencies to fund the National Guard deployments and fill in the funding shortfalls. The transfer made on Friday means it will cost Texas taxpayers more than $1.3B to keep the National Guard troops stationed along the border through August, the end of the fiscal year. This all adds up to more than triple the amount of the original budget.