Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton secured a temporary administrative stay from the Supreme Court of Texas (“SCOTX”) ordering Harris County not to distribute any public money through its unlawful “guaranteed income” program for an interim period. 

Attorney General Paxton sued Harris County earlier this month for instituting a “guaranteed income” welfare scheme that violates the Texas Constitution which forbids “any county, city, town or other political corporation or subdivision of the State … to grant public money or thing of value in aid of, or to any individual.” The Harris handout program selected 1,928 residents to receive $500 cash payments for 18 months with “no strings attached.” Recipients are not even required to be U.S. citizens, with various classifications of noncitizens being eligible for the handouts. 

When both the trial court and court of appeals denied Texas’s request for a temporary injunction against the unlawful program, the OAG immediately filed an emergency motion with SCOTX and asked the Court to pause the payments while the lower courts consider the merits of the case. SCOTX ordered Harris County to respond to the Office of the Attorney General’s motion by April 29. 

“I’m pleased the Supreme Court of Texas has blocked Harris County from disbursing these unlawful payments,” said Attorney General Paxton. “I look forward to continuing to defend our Constitution and preventing this egregious misuse of taxpayer money.”

To read the order, click here.