AUSTIN — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) and State Representative Tom Craddick (R-Midland) successfully amended the budget bill proposed in the Texas House of Representatives to add funding to bolster salaries for hard-to-fill positions at Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) driver license offices in the Permian Basin.
When the new DPS “Mega Center” opened between Odessa and Midland last year, it was supposed to streamline customer service and reduce wait times. Instead, the center has been plagued by vacant positions whose salaries are not competitive with those in the oil and gas industry and customers experience hours-long wait times for services such as driver license processing. The Landgraf-Craddick budget amendment gives DPS an additional $500,000 to use as incentive pay to fill those types of vacant positions and get lines moving again, both at the Mega Center and other driver license office across West Texas.
"An increase in oil and gas production is always a good thing, but with it can come some growing pains," Landgraf said. "I constantly hear complaints about how long it takes to get a driver license at the DPS mega center and I think these additional funds will help alleviate what has been a huge inconvenience to people across West Texas."
The House passed the budget, House Bill 1, unanimously on the final vote in the early hours of Thursday morning and the measure now heads to the Senate for approval. The 86th Texas legislative session will run through May 27, 2019.