Officials Say Uvalde Victims Compensation Fund Facing Delays and “Meager” Payouts

Uvalde officials on Monday criticized the state’s compensation fund for victims of the Uvalde school shooting and their families, The Texas Tribune reports.

State Sen. Ronald Guttierez and Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said that the families are experiencing delays and that the compensation has been insufficient.

The two officials called on Gov. Greg Abbott to remove Uvalde County District Attorney Christina Mitchell Busbee from overseeing the fund and bring in the Texas Division of Emergency Management instead.

Abbott’s administration initially announced it would invest $5 million for a compensation fund and a center to provide longterm services, including crisis counseling, behavioral health care and child care for first responders and survivors.

It’s unclear how much money was allocated to compensation for victims.

Families face “meager” compensation:

Guttierez and McLaughlin sent a letter to Abbott warning that one Uvalde family may have their power cut off while their daughter is in the hospital. Other families have been offered two weeks’ pay as compensation, which the two officials called “meager.”

“These families cannot begin to heal unless they are given time to grieve free from financial worry. There is no worse pain imaginable than losing a child. This pain is made all the more severe because of the way these children were killed and injured,” Gutierrez wrote in a statement. “In short, the State of Texas ought to use every available resource in law to make these families whole.”

DA under fire:

Busbee has faced criticism as she handles the investigation into the shooting.

She told ABC News last week she has been meeting with families to update them about the investigation and “make sure that they’re getting the resources that they need.”

McLaughlin previously criticized Busbee for selectively releasing records that scapegoat the local police and slammed her for leaving city officials out of her briefings.


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