EDINBURG, Texas – Governor Greg Abbott is now instructing state agencies to reduce budgets by five percent in an effort to prepare for an economic shock.

State agencies and institutions of higher education including UTRGV (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley) were sent a letter on Wednesday from the governor’s office, advising them to submit a plan showing where they can make cuts.

Government leaders are urging them to move forward with cost-saving strategies in areas that will not affect the state’s response to COVID-19. Some of those could include cutting capital spending that can wait, cutting travel and administration expenses that aren’t necessary. 

They’re also being asked to put a hold on filling positions that aren’t essential to the COVID-19 response.

KVEO-TV reached out to UTRGV who responded with this statement:

“As a state agency, we are subject to the 5 percent reduction. Fortunately, we have been implementing cost-saving measures since the pandemic first became apparent and while any budget reduction is difficult, we are well-prepared to ensure continued operations and support of our students.”

Those cost saving measures include a hard hiring freeze they started in late February along with stopping all business travel.

The letter notes that more adjustments may be necessary once they get a clearer status on the state revenue.