Governor signs disaster-related legislation

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AUSTIN — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, and 23 House and Senate members joined Gov. Greg Abbott in Houston on June 13 as he signed four disaster preparedness and relief bills into law.

The group met at Gallery Furniture, owned by Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, to look on as Abbott put his signature on the bills. When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in August 2017, McIngvale opened two of his stores to shelter storm-displaced Houstonians and his company deployed its largest moving truck to rescue people in flooded neighborhoods.

“Thanks to the work of the Legislature, we are rebuilding Texas stronger and more resilient than ever,” said Abbott. “In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, we saw the unshakable spirit of the Lone Star State through the generosity of Texans helping their neighbors. These important pieces of legislation are a symbol of that spirit, as well as a sign of Texas’ commitment to improving the way we respond to natural disasters.”

The bills Abbott signed at the gathering include:

— HB 5 by Rep. Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, and Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, requiring the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to develop a catastrophic debris management plan and training and establish a work group to make recommendations on how local governments and property owners’ associations can assist with recovery efforts. HB 5 also requires the TDEM to develop a model contract for debris removal.



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