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AG Paxton Secures Stay from Texas Supreme Court Stopping Harris County’s Unlawful “Guaranteed Income” Scheme

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has obtained a stay from the Supreme Court of Texas (“SCOTX”) stopping an unlawful “guaranteed income” scheme by Harris County called “Uplift Harris” that violates the Texas Constitution.

In April 2024, Attorney General Paxton sued Harris County for instituting a “guaranteed income” welfare scheme that violates the Texas Constitution. The State Constitution 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 would select 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.

After a lower court denied Texas’s request for emergency relief, the OAG immediately filed an emergency motion with SCOTX. Today, having previously granted a temporary, administrative stay, the Court granted Texas’s request and ordered that “all payments under the Uplift Harris program are prohibited pending further order of this Court.”

“Harris County’s guaranteed income scheme is a clear and flagrant violation of the Texas Constitution,” said Attorney General Paxton. “SCOTX has stepped in and put a stop to this abuse of power and unlawful use of taxpayer money while the case continues.”

To read the order, click here.

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