A voter thinks the Rainy Day Fund of Texas is a solution to the pandemic

SAN ANTONIO — As the November election nears, the race for Texas’ 121st House District between state Rep. candidates Steve Allison (Republican) and Celina Montoya (Democrat) continues to be an important matchup for voters in the North Central and Northeast San Antonio areas.

It’s a race that LeQuinne Ferebee pays close attention to. Like many during the pandemic, she is spending a lot of time at home doing her volunteer work for Texas CASA. Her job as a court-appointed special advocate is usually very hands-on, but that all changed this year.

“I saw [my CASA kid] in March and only got to see him in September due to COVID-19,” Ferebee said.

Helping members of his community means a lot to Ferebee, so staying away hasn’t been easy.

“I think it’s going to be months before we recover,” she said.

Ferebee continues to be among the lucky ones during the pandemic. She still has her house, her health and money to support herself. A luxury she knows so many are going without now due to lost jobs related to COVID-19.

“It worries me for our state and our nation because Texas has the money but they’re not spending it,” Ferebee said.

She thinks her next elected state representative should turn to the state’s Economic Stabilization Fund, better known as the Rainy Day Fund. Earlier this year, the Texas Tribune reported that the fund had $10.2 billion in tax revenue according to the Texas comptroller. Still, it’s likely lawmakers will only have access to $8.5 billion because some of the money has already been earmarked for other things.

“I think they should focus on the uninsured and the unemployed,” Ferebee said.

Allison and Montoya agree the fund is something to consider in the next legislative session.

“I think the rainy day fund is a viable option that we need to look at. We need to get our economy back up and running and we need to get people back to work safely,” Rep. Allison said.

“I think now is absolutely the right time to use the Economic Stabilization Fund. I think this is a time for many Texans where the need has never been greater,” Montoya said.

Candidates also agree that other sources of income should be considered.

“We need to be open to new businesses. We need to be open to expanding our exploration into green energy. This means we could create more jobs at relatively low rates with a very short time frame to train people,” Montoya said.

“The governor has been very aggressive in attracting businesses from the state to Texas and I think we need to continue that while looking at all viable options for additional revenue streams,” Allison said.

Election day is November 3.

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