highlights

Week of March 12-18, 2018

More Texans than usual cast ballots in primary elections
AUSTIN — In early voting, Texans participated in greater numbers in the state Democratic primary than the Republican primary, but on Election Day, March 6, the Republican turnout exceeded the Democratic turnout by half a million votes.

Week of March 5-11, 2018

Abbott orders action to ensure safety on juco campuses
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott is calling for immediate action to ensure the safety of Texas’ junior college campuses following a Feb. 14 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
Abbott’s order came in a Feb. 28 letter to Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Commissioner Raymund Paredes. He issued a similar order addressing the safety of all Texas schoolchildren a week earlier.
Abbott outlined steps to be taken by the Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Week of Feb. 26 - March 4, 2018

Governor orders action to address safety at schools
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Feb. 21 sent a letter to Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath ordering immediate action to ensure the safety of children in Texas schools following the multi-fatality shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school on Feb. 14.
Abbott listed steps for Morath and other state education leaders to take to respond to and prevent such tragedies, including: 

Week of Feb. 19-25, 2018

Hazard mitigation funding for Harvey recovery becomes available
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott traveled to Rockport and Houston on Feb. 13 to announce the availability of new funding for hazard mitigation projects along the Gulf Coast following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.
Abbott invited cities and counties to submit applications for projects and said the funding would provide an estimated $1 billion for hazard and flood mitigation projects designed to both help Texas rebuild and reduce the risk of future damage from flooding and Hurricanes. 

Week of Feb. 12-18, 2018

Legislation passed by Congress includes hurricane relief funds
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Feb. 9 lauded Congress’ passage of budget legislation that contains nearly $90 billion in hurricane and wildfire disaster relief funding for Texas, Florida, California and Puerto Rico.
Hurricane Harvey pounded Texas from Aug. 25-31, resulting in disaster status for some 60 counties. The federal Office of Coastal Management has estimated the total cost of Harvey at $125 billion. Cost estimates by various other organizations have reached as high as $200 billion.

Week of Feb. 5-11, 2018

Straus: Audit reveals need for stronger oversight at state agency
AUSTIN — House Speaker Joe Straus on Jan. 31 said a new state audit raises questions about the management of the state Health and Human Services Commission and illustrates the need for legislative hearings.

Week of Jan. 29 - Feb. 4, 2018

Governors urge congressional leaders to pass disaster aid funding
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott and the governors of California, Puerto Rico and Florida on Jan. 24 asked U.S. House and Senate leaders to hurry up and pass supplemental disaster funding, and to send the legislation to President Trump.

Week of Jan. 22-28, 2018

Hurricane recovery efforts continue with much still to do
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Jan. 17 extended for 30 days the state disaster declaration for counties affected by Hurricane Harvey, which pounded and flooded the Gulf Coast and moved deeply inland, spreading its destructive power. 
“As long as Texas families are fighting to recover, they can rest assured that the State of Texas is fighting with them,” Abbott said. The 60 counties listed in the declaration will continue to be eligible for assistance as they recover and rebuild, the governor said. 

Week of Jan. 15-21, 2018

DPS acts to prevent violent confrontations at capitol
AUSTIN — Enhanced security measures have been implemented at the state capitol complex and capitol grounds, the Texas Department of Public Safety announced Jan. 11.

Week of Jan. 8-14, 2018

FEMA clears way for public assistance to churches that aid in disasters
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Jan. 3 announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s approval of their request to allow churches and religious organizations to receive the same public assistance available to other nonprofits aiding in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.