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Previews of new USPS programs, procedures

A big part of NNA’s participation in the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) is getting a preview of new programs and procedures proposed by the Postal Service. The theory is that the representatives from the mailing industry will provide feedback to the Postal Service on the workability of these changes, and we do see where sometimes USPS modifies a proposal based on comments.
Some of the items of interest to NNA members from the most recent MTAC meeting in late January follow.

By MATT PAXTON,
National Newspaper Association

Week of March 30 - April 5, 2020

White House grants disaster declaration for state of Texas

AUSTIN — President Trump on March 25 issued a major disaster declaration for the state of Texas as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump’s action came at the request of Gov. Greg Abbott, who is seeking additional federal assistance to combat the disease. In recent days Abbott issued multiple waivers of state laws to remove barriers limiting the response to the pandemic. He also activated the Texas National Guard to be prepared to assist with response efforts.

Week of March 23-29, 2020

Governor takes actions to slow down deadly virus

AUSTIN — Texas is more invested every day in promoting increased and thorough hand washing, disinfecting surfaces and social distancing to reduce cases of the rapidly spreading novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

As of March 22, the cumulative count of patients testing positive in Texas increased to 334. The death count stood at five with 8,756 people having been tested, according to figures posted by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Week of March 16-22, 2020

Governor issues statewide disaster declaration

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on March 13 declared a state of disaster in all Texas counties and listed actions agencies are taking to contain and minimize the spread of COVID-19 novel coronavirus, a highly contagious flu-like respiratory disease.

Abbott said agency actions would include:

—Provide immediate ability to move resources around the state, including resources obtained through the Strategic National Stockpile, an emergency supply of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies; 

Week of March 9-15, 2020

Trump, Biden emerge as winners in Texas primaries

AUSTIN — Incumbent President Donald J. Trump, who received 94% of the vote in the Lone Star State’s Republican primary election, and former Vice President Joe Biden, who received 34.5 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary, were their parties’ top vote-getters on March 3, Super Tuesday.

Biden’s closest rival was Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who received 30% of the Democratic vote. Sanders was followed by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, 14.4%, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 11.4%.

Be your community’s hero

Sometimes in our lives we’re blessed to be a part of a special event that makes you so proud it brings you to tears.
One of those events for myself, family and friends and more than 600 other proud folks occurred on Feb. 7 when my first grandchild and only grandson, Dylan Chadwick Ferguson, graduated from the 78th Season of the Corpus Christi Police Academy, received his badge and officially became an officer with the Corpus Christi Police Department.
Dylan was one of 30 new officers selected out of 800 applicants.

Week of Feb. 24 - March 1, 2020

Governor establishes clemency application for certain survivors

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Feb. 20 established a clemency application specifically for survivors of human trafficking or domestic violence.

The application, crafted in coordination with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, includes a section that affords the applicant an opportunity to provide a statement to the board regarding their human trafficking or domestic violence victimization. 

Week of Feb. 17-23, 2020

Governor charges agency heads with developing workforce plan

AUSTIN — Requirements in House Bill 3, the sweeping school finance law passed by the Texas Legislature in 2019, require the state to plan for long-term workforce development.

On Feb. 13, Gov. Greg Abbott cited HB 3 in assigning the commissioners of three state agencies to identify strategies to meet the state’s future workforce needs through his 2016 Tri-Agency Workforce Initiative. He instructed them to deliver a report to him by Sept. 1.