Harris County Authorizes Litigation Against the Texas Comptroller

August 31, 2022

Harris County Commissioner’s Court today authorized the County Attorney to hire outside counsel and file a lawsuit to challenge the state’s efforts to gridlock Harris County funding, including over $96 million for public safety.

“Harris County residents are caught up as collateral in Governor Abbott’s latest political stunt. Our residents cannot afford to be stripped of public safety, public health, and other resources,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. “I remain focused on making unprecedented investments into law enforcement and running the County so that people can focus on their lives. We will pursue all avenues toward a potential solution, and I’m proud that we are pursuing legal action against the state as we fight to keep Harris County fully funded and free of political sport."

This year, Harris County has preliminarily approved a record $1.4 billion budget for programs related to justice and safety, a funding trend that can be traced back to initial increases in 2019. Harris County Commissioner’s Court has increased annual funding every year for all public safety agencies, including the Sheriff’s office and all eight Constables' offices.

Hegar’s attempts would prevent Harris County from adopting a budget that increases funding to Harris County law enforcement by $96.7 million, including new investments in the Sheriff’s and Constables' offices, and a proposed $10 million increase to the District Attorney's Office. If the Comptroller’s efforts succeed, all of these investments would be stripped away.

Media may access information about law enforcement budget increases and other graphics here.