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Democrat County Judge Lina Hidalgo Changes Harris County Budgeting Process on a “Whim”


HOUSTON, July 8, 2019  In advance of the Commissioners Court meeting on July 9, Harris County Republican Party Chair Paul Simpson released the following statement regarding Democrat County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s decision to change the Harris County budgeting process:

“Despite her rhetoric, Democrat County Judge Lina Hidalgo made the swift decision to change the budget process on a ‘whim’ rather than stand for the citizens of Harris County. This move was not rooted in science and nothing more than a deceptive, political money grab to advance Judge Hidalgo’s liberal agenda neglecting the needs of all of Harris County.” – Harris County Republican Party Chair Paul Simpson    

When asked by District Attorney Kim Ogg for funds for additional prosecutors, Judge Hidalgo said:

“When we make a decision on a whim, we get something like the recent exposé from The Chronicle…That is why the budget process is a process.”
– Judge Lina Hidalgo, Commissioners Court 6/25/19

“Harris County Commissioners Court on Tuesday rejected District Attorney Kim Ogg’s request for more staff to handle fallout from the Houston Police Department’s botched Pecan Park drug raid.… The court voted 3-2 along party lines.… Commissioners Rodney Ellis and Adrian Garcia joined County Judge Lina Hidalgo in turning down the request.” (Houston Chronicle, 6/25/19)

However, when Commissioner Rodney Ellis used a vague agenda item to change the Harris County budget process and reallocate millions of dollars in mobility funds, Judge Hidalgo said:

“So, if the proposal is to change one allocation for a 25 [percent] allocation just because – until we come up with some science, I would be for that.” 
– Judge Lina Hidalgo, Commissioners Court 6/25/19

“The three Democrats on the Harris County Commissioners Court, in the latest flex of their newly won majority, have begun shifting road money to their two precincts and away from the two Republican-controlled ones.… The court voted 3-2 along party lines Tuesday to divide the funds evenly among the precincts, shifting 15 percent of the dollars — a swing of more than $9 million per year, based on recent averages — from Republican-held precincts to Democrat-held ones.” (Houston Chronicle, 6/25/19)

 As a reminder, Judge Hidalgo campaigned on transparency and public engagement:

"In everything we do, we represent all the people of Harris County – not just the ones who voted for us. It's our job to do right by them; to be worthy of the trust placed upon us." – Judge Lina Hidalgo, January 1, 2019

“‘The public has a right to know before we make major financial changes of how we finance infrastructure,’ Cagle said. ‘This is not fair. We need to have an opportunity to discuss this in the public. To change it with no notice is wrong. We ought to have transparency — real transparency.’” (Houston Chronicle, 6/25/19)

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