State creates mental health task force for Harvey-affected schools

Published Wednesday, October 18, 2017
By Ed Sterling

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath on Oct. 11 announced the establishment of the Hurricane Harvey Task Force on School Mental Health Supports to deliver needed attention to schools and higher education institutions impacted by the storm.

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Abbott, Texas delegation ask Congress for hurricane relief funds

Published Wednesday, October 11, 2017
By Ed Sterling

Gov. Greg Abbott and members of Lone Star State's congressional delegation last week signed a letter seeking $18.7 billion in Texas-specific Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery funding in the next federal supplemental appropriations bill.

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Governor applauds TxDOT efforts in removal of hurricane debris

Published Wednesday, October 4, 2017
By Ed Sterling

Gov. Greg Abbott on Sept. 27 announced the Texas Department of Transportation had collected more than 2.4 million cubic feet of debris left behind by Hurricane Harvey in roadways across the four districts hardest hit by the storm.

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Governor extends aid for widespread needs caused by Hurricane Harvey

Published Wednesday, September 27, 2017
By Ed Sterling

Gov. Greg Abbott on Sept. 20 extended his state disaster declaration for 60 counties affected by Hurricane Harvey.

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Citizens, government agencies continue hurricane recovery work

Published Wednesday, September 20, 2017
By Ed Sterling

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.

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Texas begins long march toward recovery from Hurricane Harvey

Published Wednesday, September 13, 2017
By Ed Sterling

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.

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Flood-related suffering, relief efforts grow in Harvey’s wake

Published Wednesday, September 6, 2017
By Ed Sterling

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.

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Hurricane Harvey assaults coast, then batters inland counties

Published Wednesday, August 30, 2017
By Ed Sterling

Hurricane Harvey slammed the middle Texas coast Aug. 25, hammering the region from Rockport to Palacios before continuing inland as a tropical storm and causing widespread catastrophic flooding.

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Abbott signs 3 bills with few likely to reach his desk in final week

Published Wednesday, August 16, 2017
By Ed Sterling

Three bills reached Gov. Greg Abbott's desk last week with the 30-day special session of the Texas Legislature set to expire today.

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House passes bills to give retired teachers relief from rising costs

Published Wednesday, August 9, 2017
By Ed Sterling

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.

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House, Senate have not yet engaged in back-and-forth on key bills

Published Wednesday, August 2, 2017
By Ed Sterling

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.

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Senate races through agenda to get to other-than-Sunset bills

Published Wednesday, July 26, 2017
By Ed Sterling

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.

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Abbott gives lawmakers initial marching orders for special session

Published Wednesday, July 19, 2017
By Ed Sterling

Gov. Greg Abbott on July 10 issued a formal proclamation for the special session that begins July 18, directing the Texas Legislature to extend expiration dates for the Texas Medical Board and other state boards that regulate psychologists, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors and social workers.

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Lawmakers plan to file teacher pay legislation in special session

Published Wednesday, July 12, 2017
By Ed Sterling

A special session of the Texas Legislature, called by Gov. Greg Abbott, is set to begin on July 18. The agenda is big.

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Governor applauds lawmakers’ intentions for special session

Published Wednesday, July 5, 2017
By Ed Sterling

Gov. Greg Abbott, in the last 10 days of June, posted news releases pointing out specific lawmakers and their plans to file bills that fulfill his expectations for the 30-day special session, which he called to begin July 18.

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First Gulf storm of season elbows Texas

Published Wednesday, June 28, 2017
By Ed Sterling

State emergency responders geared up for the first time this hurricane season in response to Tropical Storm Cindy, which came ashore just east of the Texas-Louisiana border on June 22.

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Governor signs 2018-2019, two-year state budget into law

Published Wednesday, June 21, 2017
By Ed Sterling

Gov. Greg Abbott on June 12 signed Senate Bill 1, legislation that appropriates some $217 billion to pay for the state's next two-year fiscal period.

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State budget awaits final approval from governor

Published Wednesday, June 7, 2017
By Ed Sterling

As of June 4, Governor Greg Abbott had not signed Senate Bill 1 - the 2018-2019 state budget finally approved by both houses of the 85th Texas Legislature on May 27.

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Legislature completes regular session with main task accomplished

Published Wednesday, May 31, 2017
By Ed Sterling

The 140-day 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature ended on May 29 with hugs, tears and fanfare, plus demonstrations against "anti-immigrant" legislation and a scuffle involving members on the House floor.

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State budget bill moves forward as conference committee agrees

Published Wednesday, May 24, 2017
By Ed Sterling

Texas Senate and House budget conferees met frequently last week and on May 20 managed to reach compromise on a $218 billion state budget for fiscal years 2018-2019.

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