AUSTIN (KXAN) – Texas state employees took to the steps of the Capitol Monday to call attention to new data that shows more than 6,000 of them are on food stamps.
The report from the Health and Human Services Commission says that taxpayers are shelling out over $119 million that goes towards food stamps and the Children’s Health Insurance Program for more than 40,000 children of state workers.
Representative Donna Howard joined members of the Texas State Employees Union to call on lawmakers working on the next budget to give all state workers a pay raise.
“We have been addressing it and it’s like it’s falling on deaf ears,” said 14-year veteran state employee Yolanda White, who has had to apply for food stamps. “We really want them to take a look at the situation and realize you’re spending the money one way or another, whether it’s subsidizing welfare, food stamps, Medicaid or if you’re giving it to us in our paychecks so we can have a better standard of living.”
The union said low pay results in high turnover for key state agencies, meaning many Texans could be unable to get the services they need when they need them.