Ed Sterling

Election results reveal larger than usual turnout



More than 8.3 million of Texas’ 15.8 million registered voters cast ballots in the Nov. 6 general election, as shown in results posted by the secretary of state. The turnout of almost 53 percent was recognized widely as the highest in nearly 50 years for a Texas election without presidential candidates on the ballot. U.S. Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, […]

Disaster declaration affects counties hit by heavy rains, flooding



Gov. Greg Abbott issued a state disaster declaration for 18 Texas counties recently impacted by deadly weather that claimed at least four lives and caused extensive flooding. On Oct. 16, Abbott authorized the use of all available resources of state government and of political subdivisions to aid in response efforts. “Texas is taking immediate action to respond to the threat […]

Panel hears about what’s being done to ‘harden’ school campuses



The Texas House Committee on Appropriations met Oct. 9 to hear ideas on improving school safety in the aftermath of the May 18 Santa Fe High School shooting that left eight students, two teachers dead and 13 injured. “It’s an unbelievable reality that shootings in schools are occurring more frequently,” said state Rep. John Zerwas, chairman of the powerful, state […]

Paxton joins effort against climate change lawsuit

FREE State Capitol Highlights

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Oct. 5 announced he had joined an Indiana-led coalition of 11 state attorneys general in a friend-of-thecourt brief seeking dismissal of a climate change lawsuit against the energy industry. King County, Washington, filed the lawsuit naming the oil companies BP, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch and ConocoPhillips as defendants. Paxton and the other attorneys […]

Abbott, Valdez present views on Texas in one hour forum



Gov. Greg Abbott and Lupe Valdez on Sept. 28 appeared together on television for 60 minutes in the only scheduled gubernatorial debate, a forum hosted by the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum on the University of Texas campus. A Republican and former Texas attorney general, Abbott is seeking a second four-year term as the state’s chief executive. His […]

Weather system prompts Texas to prepare as hurricane season continues

State Capitol Highlights

Before Hurricane Florence reached the shores of the Carolinas last week, Gov. Greg Abbott focused on the Gulf of Mexico, where an inbound tropical disturbance threatened the southern region of Texas. Proactively, Abbott on Sept. 14 issued a disaster declaration for 78 counties stretching from the Texas Gulf Coast to deep into the interior of the Lone Star State. A […]

Governor points out actions taken to make schools safer



Just before Labor Day weekend, Gov. Greg Abbott released a School Safety Action Plan Summary that lists actions taken by school districts to harden campuses in the wake of the deadly Santa Fe Independent School District shooting in May. “Elected leaders, community members, students, teachers, parents and everyday Texans all share the common goal of making schools a safe place […]

Texas leaders call for new trade agreement to include Canada

State Capitol Highlights

The White House last week announced a preliminary new trade agreement had been secured between the United States and Mexico. While details of the pact are forthcoming, the White House said the agreement would “create more reciprocal trade that grows the economy, supports high-paying jobs for American workers, protects American intellectual property” and “is a mutually beneficial win for North […]

Officials observe anniversary of Hurricane Harvey at Rockport church

State Capitol Highlights

AUSTIN — August 25 marked one year since Hurricane Harvey’s battering winds and torrential rains brought death and destruction to coastal and inland counties of Texas. Repairs and rebuilding in the region continue to this day, and the U.S. Office of Coastal Management has estimated the cost of the storm at $125 billion. Gov. Greg Abbott and a host of […]

Texas Education Agency releases two sets of ratings

State Capitol Highlights

The Texas Education Agency on Aug. 15 released 2018 campus accountability ratings and, for the first time ever, A-F district accountability ratings. More than 8,700 independent school campuses received a rating of Met Standard, Met Alternative Standard or Improvement Required. Some 7,260 public school campuses and 558 charters were rated Met Standard or Met Alternative Standard, while 293 public school […]


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