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National Guard Losing Disaster Readiness, Chief Testifies

Malcolm McClendon,

The head of the Texas National Guard says proposed state budget cuts would hurt the guard’s ability to respond quickly to disasters, including wildfires.

“The agency will lose its ability to respond quickly in times of need to large and multiple disasters,” Maj. Gen. John Nichols told the Senate Finance Committee today. “This seed money, if you will, we now use to get our soldiers into disasters quickly, it was cut in half, now leaving enough funding to respond to a single, small disaster.”

Nichols asked lawmakers to restore $2.3 million in recommended cuts and add an additional $2.3 million in funding for the Texas National Guard.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.