The House’s chief champion of giving poor, elderly and disabled Texans discounts on their utility bills is so frustrated, he wants to kill a surcharge funding the program and use all unspent money as a one-time fix for gaping holes in the state’s social services budget.
“The surcharge needs to be ended. You cannot redirect it … and be honest with the people who are paying,” Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, said Thursday.
Turner reacted coolly to Senate budget chief Steve Ogden’s suggestion earlier Thursday that the fee money could help pay for Texas’ Medicaid program, presumably on a continuing basis.
“Either you end it or you rename it and call it what it is — a utility tax,” said Turner, vice chairman of House Appropriations.
Is a policy analyst consultant for TCAP, a coalition of political subdivisions in Texas that purchase electricity in the deregulated market for their own governmental use. Because energy costs are typically a significant budget item to our members, TCAP is consistently looking for ways to save our members money, through cost-saving contracts, energy efficiency or demand response programs.