The Texas Legislative Guide was designed and developed by Becca Aaronson, Emily Albracht, Daniel Craigmile, Annie Daniel, Ben Hasson and Ryan Murphy for The Texas Tribune. The Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that promotes civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government and other matters of statewide concern.
An expansive border security bill declared a priority by Gov. Greg Abbott passed after months of disagreement between the House and the Senate on issues like how to staff and spend on the border, and in what capacity to keep the Texas National Guard in the Rio Grande Valley.
The bill, House Bill 11 by state Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, costs about $310 million for the 2016-17 biennium — part of a sweeping, $800 million border security budget lawmakers signed off on in the final days of the session.
The Texas National Guard was deployed last year to assist the Department of Public Safety (DPS) in its Operation Strong Safety, a surge of troopers dispatched in response to the tens of thousands of undocumented Central American immigrants entering Texas across its southern border. The final version of the bill maintains the so-called border surge of law enforcement officials in the Rio Grande Valley and requires that the Texas National Guard remain there until DPS hires and trains hundreds of troopers who will stay in the area permanently.
Updated: May 27, 2015
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