Week of Sept. 25-Oct. 1, 2017

Governor extends aid for widespread needs caused by Hurricane Harvey
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Sept. 20 extended his state disaster declaration for 60 counties affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Week of Sept. 18-24, 2017

Citizens, government agencies continue hurricane recovery work
AUSTIN — Help-is-on-the-way announcements from the governor’s office came last week as residents of hard-hit counties of the state labored to pull themselves out the watery mire and windblown nightmare of Hurricane Harvey.

Week of Sept. 11-17, 2017

Texas begins long march toward recovery from Hurricane Harvey
AUSTIN — As contaminated waters receded and mountains of debris from flooded homes and ruined belongings grew last week, a picture of post-hurricane Texas developed and the process of weighing impacts to lives, property and infrastructure began.
Gov. Greg Abbott delivered a series of announcements and proclamations related to catastrophic flooding and wind damage brought by Hurricane Harvey to more than 50 Gulf Coast and inland counties in late August and early September.

Week of Sept. 4-10, 2017

Flood-related suffering, relief efforts grow in Harvey’s wake
AUSTIN — Emergency relief operations expanded and intensified last week as floodwaters caused by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey-generated rains inundated and overwhelmed Harris County and dozens of other stricken counties.
While damage estimates continue to increase, at least 45,000 people have moved to public shelters, more than 100,000 homes have been destroyed and the death toll is rising.

Week of Aug. 28 - Sept. 3, 2017

Hurricane Harvey assaults coast, then batters inland counties
AUSTIN — Hurricane Harvey slammed the middle Texas coast on Aug. 25, hammering the region from Rockport to Palacios before continuing inland as a tropical storm and causing widespread catastrophic flooding.
With wind speeds in excess of 130 miles per hour before landfall at Rockport, the National Hurricane Center in Miami gave the storm a rating of Category 4. As rains and flooding worsened, Harvey was widely reportedly to be the strongest hurricane to hit Texas since Carla in 1961.

Week of Aug. 21-27, 2017

Special session ends over impasse on property tax reform bill
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott gave legislators 20 must-pass items, but the lawmakers delivered only 12 bills to his desk during the first called session of the 85th Texas Legislature.

Week of Aug. 14-20, 2017

Abbott signs 3 bills with few likely to reach his desk in final week
AUSTIN — Three bills reached Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk last week, with the 30-day special session of the Texas Legislature set to expire Aug. 16.  
Abbott signed all three into law on Aug. 11:
-- Senate Bill 5, increasing criminal penalties for voter fraud, by Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, and sponsored in the House by Dan Huberty, R-Kingwood;

Week of Aug. 7-13, 2017

House passes bills to give retired teachers relief from rising costs
AUSTIN – The Texas House on Aug. 1 approved House Bill 20, legislation appropriating $212.7 million from the “rainy day” reserve fund to help defray rising healthcare costs for retired school employees.
Primary authors of HB 20 include: Trent Ashby, R-Lufkin; Drew Darby, R-San Angelo; Gary VanDeaver, R-New Boston; John Zerwas, R-Katy; and Donna Howard, D-Austin.

Week of July 31 - Aug. 6, 2017

House, Senate have not yet engaged in back-and-forth on key bills
AUSTIN — Not a single bill had been agreed to by the state House and Senate as of July 28, exactly 10 days into the 30-day special session of the Texas Legislature.

Week of July 24-30, 2017

Senate races through agenda to get to other-than-Sunset bills
AUSTIN — The 85th Texas Legislature convened at the Capitol on July 18 for its first called session, the main purpose being for lawmakers to extend the life of certain state agencies scheduled for termination, and then to proceed to other matters.