NEWS RELEASE: Harris County Commissioner Ellis’ Statement on Commissioners Cagle and Ramsey Forcing County to Adopt No New Revenue Rate

NEWS RELEASE

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022

Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis’ Statement on Commissioners Cagle and Ramsey Forcing County to Adopt No New Revenue Rate    

“The consequences of adopting the No New Revenue Rate are truly dire. It forces tens of millions in cuts to life-saving health care services; throws way $100 million for law enforcement; delays urgent flood control projects; denies investments to strengthen economic opportunity; and jeopardizes other vital services that families depend on to weather tough times and build a better life. 

The callous disregard for these impacts and celebratory attitude of my colleagues is truly abhorrent. We can disagree about our vision for Harris County, but needlessly sabotaging the budget process in pursuit of your own political interests does not serve the public interest. It only serves their own political goals, while compromising our ability to serve the residents of Harris County. 

That’s the opposite of leadership. So, while my colleagues pat themselves on the back for achieving their short-minded goals, those of us with the willingness to lead will redouble our efforts and determine how best to serve our residents with our now limited resources.” 

Background:

The consequences of Commissioners Cagle and Ramsey refusing to attend six Commissioners Court meeting to force a no-new-revenue rate and insufficient budget include:

Harris Health System, which is underfunded, will cut life-saving services for 10,000 patients, including cancer screenings, dialysis, mental health treatment, and home health care. These cuts to services are especially concerning given that:       

  • Nearly 1 million people—20% of Harris County’s population—are underinsured;
  • Harris County already experiences some of the highest maternal and infant mortality, and morbidity rates in the entire country, which will be exacerbated by the Texas abortion ban;
  • Harris County has experienced a decrease in average life expectancy from 78 to 69 years between 2019 and 2022.

 The Harris County Sherriff’s Office will lose $44 million to fund Patrol and Detention:

  • $16.6 million to fund Patrol and Administration, the equivalent of 175 entry-level deputies, will not be available;
  • $23.6 million to fund Detention, the equivalent of 277 detention officers for the jail, will not be available. 

Public Health and Pollution Control, which have been chronically underfunded for years, both provide services that are vital to the health and safety of Harris County families and our environment. They will continue to be underfunded despite the challenges faced by Harris County in terms of the pandemic, poor air quality, multiple industrial disasters, and environmental injustices in communities that have been exposed to toxic pollutants.



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