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County programs caught in ‘sanctuary city’ crossfire will survive

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

Travis County staff have found a way to keep alive several key justice programs whose funding was axed by Gov. Greg Abbott earlier this year. The Commissioners Court in February voted to keep the programs – which include the Veterans Court, DWI Court and several family violence services – on life support until May 15. Their future was thrown into jeopardy when Abbott yanked $1.5 million in grants to the county after Sheriff Sally Hernandez announced her office would reduce its voluntary compliance with federal immigration officials. On Tuesday, Planning and Budget Office staff are set to outline to the court the budgetary road map to keep the programs funded and largely intact through November. On Monday, County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said, “We still believe that Gov. Abbott’s attempt at political retribution is unfair and unwarranted, but we look at this experience as a positive. By taking a good hard look and finding efficiencies in our processes, we will even further improve the great work being done in our criminal court, victim services and juvenile justice systems.”

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