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County judges have limited time to answer governor’s request on border costs

Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 9:31 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Border control expenses is a cost estimate Governor Greg Abbott wants from county judges by July 9th. The task is slow to accomplish.

Governor Abbott is adamant about what he calls a ‘border crisis’. The message is quite apparent on the office of the governor website.

“We are going to do everything we can to secure the border and it begins immediately today,” a voiceover by the governor on a posted video is heard.

Included in that plan is a letter to 254 county judges asking for a two-year full and accurate estimate of the fiscal impact the border issues have on their county. Abbott plans to use the information for a reimbursement from Congress. Meanwhile, the request sets in many judges’ in-boxes.

“I, of course, respect the governor at least checking with us, but this is, this is, this is somewhat of an unusual request,” expressed Judge Greg Sowell of Nacogdoches County.

County governments are setting their own budgets utilizing projections from tax offices.

“Of course, this border situation is something that cannot be projected,” said Sowell.

Border counties can document expenses. East Texas regions start with good guesses.

“Right now, our effects on the border crisis from what I can tell in Nacogdoches County, as far as on the budget and on our expenditures, are minimal,” said Sowell.

The Highway 59 drug corridor enters Sowell’s mind as a possible financial impact. Confirming and documenting the thought will likely not happen before July 9.

KTRE reached out to other county judges across the region about their border cost estimates. Judge Sowell was the only one who responded.

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