Texas

Governor Abbott Signs Harvey Relief Legislation

SB 7 will provide Texas’ local governments with matching funds to unlock billions of dollars’ worth of federal disaster aid and flood mitigation funding.

Governor Greg Abbott has signed a bill aimed at aiding disaster recovery and reducing the risk of future flooding across Texas. Abbott signed the measure as one of four Harvey relief bills at a ceremony held in Houston on Thursday.

Abbott credited Texas’ congressional delegation and the Trump administration for passing $30 billion worth of disaster relief and flood infrastructure funding. “Some of those federal dollars, however, require a local match,” the governor said. “Texas is assisting local governments by providing much of that local match through the framework created in Senate Bill 7.”

Local governments will need to show they have applied for, and been approved for, federal dollars in order to unlock the matching state funds.

The related legislation Abbott signed included Senate Bill 6, which creates a disaster recovery loan program within the Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM); House Bill 5, which requires TDEM to develop a plan for debris removal following catastrophes; and House Bill 7, which requires the Office of the Governor to develop a list of waivers that can be applied to state laws in order to aid local governments following a disaster.

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Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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