State Budget Cuts Could Impact El Paso County


POSTED: Monday, February 14, 2011 - 6:23pm

UPDATED: Monday, February 14, 2011 - 11:09pm

EL PASO- If you thought El Paso County has a budget problem now, just wait.  A $25 billion state deficit is really going to put the squeeze on.

35 million dollars.  That's how much money programs in El Paso county could lose in next year's budget, according to County Judge Veronica Escobar.

Governor Perry's proposed budget has local leaders upset, and they voiced their concerns earlier today.

Representatives from county agencies and El Paso mayor John Cook joined Escobar at a news conference this afternoon.

The common message for state legislators was 'don't cut our funding'.

El Paso County would lose about $6 million in funding for programs like Child Protective Services and transportation construction.

The county's Mental Health and Mental Retardation program would be out about $5 million.  County Judge Escobar has ordered auditors to propose alternative budget cuts.

"They're evaluating the state budget right now and they are working through the legislative committee we have in house to throw around ideas that we could maybe pass along to our delegation about areas that could sustain more cuts," she said.

University Medical Center also stands to lose big.  The hospital says it could lose more than $20 million in funding, with half of that due to Medicaid cuts.

The city of El Paso would be affected as well.  Mayor John Cook said the city would lose over a million dollars, with art programs like Music Under the Stars and Chalk the Block being cut.

We'll keep you posted on the state budget process.

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