HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — Harris County’s 2023 fiscal budget goes into effect on October 1.
The county hasn’t been able to pass its budget because two Republican commissioners have refused to show up for the vote.
“We're just waiting for Commissioner Cagle or Commissioner Ramsey to show up, to come to the table to help us get a budget passed,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said.
Hidalgo says several vital programs are in jeopardy of being cut.
"It puts our hospital system at a $45 million dollar deficit. That means 10,000 jobs at risk. It means 3,000 people that can’t get colonoscopies and it means longer wait times for everybody in the community."
Hidalgo highlighted a list of services that are threatened to be cut in a series of tweets Friday.
The proposed $2.2 billion dollar budget that includes a 1% tax reduction has yet to be voted on due to a lack of quorum.
Republican Precinct. 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey says he’s not in agreement with where some of the funds are being placed.
He says he’s pushing to fund 200 additional law enforcement officers and cut back on tax revenue.
“The proposed budget includes a quarter of a billion dollar increase in tax revenue when people say this is actually a reduction in tax, right, yeah it is, but it increases revenue by $250 million dollars. What I think we should do is address our priorities, and that is law enforcement, in my opinion, particularly crime."
Under state law, the county has until October 28 to pass the 2023 budget.
If that doesn’t happen, the budget from last year will stay in place.
"I hope that they have a bout of conscious, or the community encourages them to show up, because that’s what it's going take,” said Hidalgo.
"In spite of all the conversations in recent days, we have a budget. It's the same budget as we had last year. That's because we have the same revenue as we had last year,” said Ramsey.
Republican Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle, who has also refused to vote, told KHOU 11 he will hold a news conference on Tuesday, October 4, on the matter.