The Texas Sexual Assault Prevention and Crisis Services Program pays for an array of services designed to help crime victims, including rape crisis centers and training for specialized nurse examiners.
But it is funded mainly by a $5-per-patron fee charged to adult businesses, such as strip clubs — shuttered this spring as the government tried to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The uncollected “pole taxes” have drained $5.35 million from the program.
Inmates who work for Texas Correctional Industries typically make garments and other items whose sale contributes revenue to the Department of Criminal Justice. But this spring, in response to a shortage of personal protective equipment, the inmates switched to manufacturing masks, costing the corrections department $3 million in profits.
The Office of Risk Management, the state’s self-insurance agency, says that in recent months it has processed double to triple the typical number of workers’ compensation claims. As of mid-August, the state’s risk managers had received 5,130 claims “potentially related to COVID-19,” spokeswoman Janice McCoy said. Covering the claims could top $6 million.