SB 838

84(R) - 2015
Senate Veteran Affairs & Military Installations
Senate Veteran Affairs & Military Installations
Homeland Security

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Negative
  • Negative


Eddie Lucio Jr.

Bill Caption

Relating to the functions of the Office of Immigration and Refugee Affairs and the Governor's Advisory Committee on Immigration and Refugees.

Fiscal Notes

Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for SB 838, Committee Report 1st House, Substituted: a negative impact of ($1,019,174) through the biennium ending August 31, 2017. The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill. 

Under the provisions of the bill, the SOS indicated the fiscal impact would be $527,263 in fiscal year 2016,and $491,911 each fiscal year from 2017-2020. Costs include salaries for 6.0 FTEs, other operating, travel,equipment,and benefits. 

Bill Analysis

This legislation amends government code section 752.001 to move the Office of Immigration and Refugee affairs to be part of the Heath and Human Services Commission, and to work in conjunction with the Secretary of State.

This bill also amends section 752.003, to make the Secretary of State the refugee coordinator, unless the governor chooses to appoint someone else to this post. 

Importantly, as the bill analysis on TLO notes:

"Under a new provision in Section 5 of the bill, if the governor by proclamation determines that a mass influx of unlawful aliens has created a state of humanitarian crisis, the governor may use the state's disaster contingency fund to, in coordination with the immigration and refugee coordinator for OIRA, provide assistance to state agencies, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and faith-based organizations to alleviate the costs associated with addressing the crisis."

Vote Recommendation Notes

This legislation would allow disaster funds to be used to provide taxpayer funded services to illegal immigrants. This is not the legitimate role for state government and an improper use of taxpayer funds. Private charities and nonprofits who provide these services can and should use private funds rather than public funds for these purposes. For this reason we oppose SB 830 on limited government grounds.