A Bill To Spend $16.3 Billion in COVID-19 Relief Funds Has Advanced to the Texas House

The Texas Senate on Friday voted 31-0 on a third reading to pass a bill allocating $16.3 billion worth of COVID relief funds. The measure now moves to the Texas House, where it will likely undergo additional revisions.

Senate Bill 8 — one of Gov. Greg Abbott's original priorities for the third special legislative session — was a committee substitute that incorporated 12 hours of public testimony from 70 individuals on Monday. Members of the Senate submitted almost 200 additional requests for funding priorities.

"Many of the items in the filed version of Senate Bill 8 remain unchanged," said committee chairwoman Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound — the bill's author. "It provides $7.2 billion to replenish the unemployment compensation fund, ensuring that businesses are not faced with an increase in unemployment taxes due to pandemic related layoffs."

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