Columns

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.

Great ideas for engaging with your community

In explaining my work, I sometimes say that there are thousands of really good journalists in rural America, but all too often they are the only person in their newsroom that fits that description. They suffer from the isolation of rurality, with fewer opportunities than urbanites to rub shoulders and exchange ideas with their professional peers.

Reporting from the road

For days, I had been planning my Thursday escape from the editor’s desk, determined to keep an appointment in Oklahoma City. As any native Texan should, I kept one wary eye on the weather forecast. 
Just four days earlier, I had covered our Fall Foliage Festival wearing shorts and flip-flops. But on Monday morning, the National Weather Service advised that a new weather system might bring light rain and snow to some parts of the Panhandle.

Week of Nov. 11-17, 2019

Voters approve 9 of 10 proposed constitutional amendments

AUSTIN — Voters rejected only one of 10 proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution in the statewide election held Nov. 5.

The House and Senate, in the 86th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature that ended in May, approved the propositions for voters to decide. Results are as follows:

Prop. 1, permitting a person to hold more than one office as a municipal judge at a time, failed with 681,139 “yes” votes — or 34.56 percent of votes cast — to 1,970,765 “no” votes or 65.44 percent.

Week of Nov. 4-10, 2019

Voters to decide on proposed amendments to state constitution

AUSTIN — The state's 10-day early voting period ran from Oct. 21 to Nov. 1 with Election Day on Nov. 5.

On the ballot are 10 proposed constitutional amendments, special elections and local political subdivision elections, including those for mayor, city council, school board, municipal utility districts and other local entities.

Week of Oct. 28 - Nov. 3, 2019

Governor issues disaster declaration for storm-stricken counties

AUSTIN — After severe weather struck north and east Texas on Oct. 20, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration naming a list of counties in that region.  

Among the counties named are: Cass, Collin, Dallas, Ellis, Erath, Hunt, Kaufman, Lamar, Panola, Rains, Rockwall, Rusk, Tarrant, Van Zandt and Wood.