Columns

Week of Jan. 27 - Feb. 2, 2020

Governor applauds White House approval of women’s health funding

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott said Jan. 22 that a Trump administration decision reestablishes the federal partnership for the Women's Health Program in Texas.

Abbott issued a statement concerning the approval of the 1115 Waiver for Healthy Texas Women:

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.

Candidate filings belong to public as soon as submitted

Q: The filing deadline for candidates in the March 3, 2020 primary election was Dec. 9. When were getting close to the deadline I was working on an article that included information on all candidates who filed to run.
I received word from a credible person that a sheriff’s office employee was going to file to run against the incumbent sheriff, but the candidate wanted to talk to me before I identified him in my news story, which could have been a delay tactic. Candidate filings are public records, correct?

Bread and the newspaper

When I assumed the role of Texas Press Association president nearly 18 months ago, I wondered what I could possibly bring to the table. Age and wisdom? Maybe. Age and experience? I suppose. Age? Got it.
More than anything, though, I was determined to honor the rich legacy of my predecessors.
A day or two later it dawned on me: not only would I have 18 columns to write, but I would be writing them for a fairly exclusive audience of my fellow writers and journalists.

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.