EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The County of El Paso is working to secure state funding resources for all of the victims affected by the Cielo Vista Walmart Mass shooting.
However, some state funds do have restrictions.
One of those funding options is a state program called “The Crime Victims Compensation Program,” which is managed by the Office of the Attorney General.
It offers funding to help reimburse innocent victims certain costs related to a crime such as counseling, medical treatment, or loss of income not paid by other sources.
During a Commissioners Court meeting on Monday, commissioners discussed the limitations.
According to state statute, the program only applies for victims who are residents in Texas.
“We want to make sure that we do as much as we can to try to provide the support for all of the people that were victims of this tragedy,” County Commissioner David Stout said, “There were a number of folks who are Mexican nationals and others that are not residents of the state of Texas that we feel should be able to access the same resources that folks who live in Texas do because this happened in El Paso, it happened in Texas.”
El Paso County officials said they want to work with leadership at the state level in order to change the state statute and have resources available for all victims, not just those who are Texas residents.
Commission Stout said if this rule can’t be changed, other options to help the victims affected are being reviewed.
“I would hope that if for some reason we cannot get something changed when it comes to the state funding, that we could prioritize some of that money that the community foundation is bringing in for the folks that will not be able to receive assistance from the state,” Stout added.
Stout also said the County will continue to apply for federal grants and other funding sources.