Capital Highlights

Week of Jan. 20-26, 2020

Governor requests presidential disaster declaration

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Jan. 13 asked for a presidential disaster declaration for three counties that sustained widespread damage attributed to severe thunderstorms, straight-line winds, hail and tornadoes.

The stormy weather on Oct. 20-21 hit Cameron, Dallas and Erath counties. Abbott's request includes public assistance and hazard mitigation.

Week of Jan. 13-19, 2020

Governor’s domestic terrorism task force meets at Capitol

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott last week convened the quarterly meeting of his Domestic Terrorism Task Force at the state Capitol. 

"We must work together to develop meaningful solutions to fully eradicate domestic terrorism in the Lone Star State,” Abbott said in explaining the purpose of the meeting. "Just as domestic terrorism takes many forms, this task force is committed to developing comprehensive and evolving defense strategies to ensure a safe and secure future for every Texan."

Week of Jan. 6-12, 2020

Abbott, Patrick react after shooting incident at church

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick released statements following a deadly shooting on Dec. 29 at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, a city of 16,000 people on the west side of Fort Worth.

Two church members were killed in the shooting, which occurred during Sunday services. A possible motive for the shooting is under investigation.

EARLY DELIVERY, Week of Dec. 30, 2019 - Jan. 5, 2020

Paxton lauds 5th Circuit ruling against Affordable Care Act

AUSTIN — After the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit declared the individual mandate in “Obamacare” unconstitutional on Dec. 18, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton expressed his agreement.

“The Fifth Circuit’s holding is clear: the federal government cannot order private citizens to purchase subpar insurance products that they don’t want,” Paxton said. “The individual mandate is the centerpiece of Obamacare and I am glad the Fifth Circuit recognized that it is unlawful." 

Week of Dec. 23-29, 2019

Deadline to hit for disaster aid applications

AUSTIN — Texans applying for federal funds for housing repairs and reimbursements relating to Hurricane Harvey damages face an important deadline.

The Texas General Land Office on Dec. 16 encouraged applicants for the Homeowner Assistance Program and Homeowner Reimbursement Program to submit applications before Dec. 31. 

Week of Dec. 16-22, 2019

Secretary of state convenes discussion on 2020 Census

AUSTIN — Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs on Dec. 11 hosted a roundtable discussion of state agencies to coordinate efforts to accurately count all Texans in the upcoming 2020 Census.

Hughs was joined by Dr. Steven Dillingham, U.S. Census Bureau director; Dr. Lloyd Potter, Texas State demographer; and representatives from state agencies and the Texas Legislature.

Week of Dec. 9-15, 2019

Governor proclaims results in constitutional amendment election

AUSTIN — Before voter-approved amendments to the Texas Constitution are set in stone, it is the governor's duty to publicly proclaim the results of the election.

On Dec. 4, Gov. Greg Abbott posted such a proclamation, having first certified the tabulation prepared by the Texas secretary of state, the state’s chief election officer.

Week of Dec. 2-8, 2019

Hegar transfers excess revenue into rainy day, highway funds

AUSTIN — Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar on Nov. 25 announced the transfer of $3.33 billion into the State Highway Fund and into the Economic Stabilization Fund, commonly known as the Rainy Day Fund. 

Week of Nov. 25 - Dec. 1, 2019

State’s chief election officer works to head off election misinformation

AUSTIN — Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs announced ahead of the 2020 primary and general elections that her office will join fellow members of the National Association of Secretaries of State in #TrustedInfo2020, a social media-based education effort to prevent misinformation.

Hughs encouraged Texans to look to their state and local elections officials as the trusted sources of election information. "The upcoming 2020 elections will be historic and unlike any before," said Hughs. 

Week of Nov. 18-24, 2019

Federal funds to assist county in buying out flood-prone properties

AUSTIN — Land Commissioner George P. Bush on Nov. 14 announced the Texas General Land Office's approval of $21,155,575 in Hurricane Harvey funds for Fort Bend County to conduct a buyout program.

In the late summer of 2017, record-heavy rainfall brought by Hurricane Harvey catastrophically flooded streets and homes. Fort Bend County will use the funds to conduct a buyout program targeting approximately 100 homes most vulnerable to flooding.