Houston/ Politics & Govt
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Published on April 18, 2024
Texas Judge Upholds Harris County's 'Uplift Harris' Program Despite AG Paxton's OppositionSource: Uplift Harris

A Texas judge has denied a request to block the distribution of funds in the Uplift Harris program, a move that has stirred up legal tussles between state and Harris County officials. According to KPRC 2, the controversial $500-a-month grant aimed at assisting struggling families with household needs is cleared to make its inaugural payment next week despite the temporary injunction sought by Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Attorney General Ken Paxton, who opposed the Uplift Harris program, calling it unconstitutional and an irresponsible use of public money, filed a lawsuit earlier this month hoping the court would agree with his view. However, geared up to next week's expected support, the 1,900 selected families that are at or below 200% of the federal poverty line and living in targeted zip codes can breathe a little easier after the judge's ruling.

Harris County officials, anticipating an appeal, are holding fast to their position that the program adheres to constitutional guidelines and delivers crucial socio-economic benefits. "These families are counting on this support for basic necessities," Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said, addressing Paxton's actions and urging him to meet the affected families, in a statement obtained by KPRC 2.

The Uplift Harris program draws a hard line on poverty, sending a clear signal that Harris County plans to combat economic struggles head-on. While Paxton argues there's no accountability or reasonable expectation of a general benefit from such taxpayer funded initiatives, the program insists on lifting the financial burden of the poorest, as reported by KHOU.

As Harris County readies to proceed with Uplift Harris amidst legal challenges, the ongoing court battle serves as a litmus test for how income assistance programs are viewed and legally challenged in Texas.