Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts tagged as “Greg Abbott”

Abbott orders School Safety Study instead of Special Session on guns

Governor Greg Abbott, center, in Uvalde after the mass murder of 21 persons, announcing action that Texas will take to address the problem of mass shootings. Others at the press conference, L to R, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Senator Ted Cruz, and House Speaker Dade Phelan. Abbott charged the leadership of the Senate and House with studying solutions that could be enacted by the State to curb future massacres.

AUSTIN – In lieu of calling a special session of the legislature to deal with new regulations to curb mass shootings, as requested by several state legislators, Governor Greg Abbott today sent a joint letter to Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Speaker Dade Phelan requesting the Texas legislative leaders convene special legislative committees following last week’s tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. The special legislative committees will be charged with examining and developing legislative recommendations on school safety, mental health, social media, police training, firearm safety, and more.

Uvalde mass shooting stirs up Gun Control debate

A Texas town, and a nation, mourn for the senseless killings of 21 victims in Uvalde.

PROTESTS MOUNT AT NRA CONVENTION

HOUSTON – Protestors outside the NRA (National Rifle Association) national convention at GRB Convention Center this weekend, blamed the proliferation of guns and lack of regulations in Texas and nationwide with the increase in mass shootings, as evidenced recently in Texas with mass murders in Uvalde, Sante Fe, Sutherland Springs, El Paso, and Midland.

Last week’s school shooting of 19 victims at Robb Elementary in Uvalde has focused the public’s attention on the need for government leaders to increase restrictions on gun ownership, rather than loosen rules as has happened recently in Texas.

Speakers at the NRA Convention in Houston last weekend included Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, but Governor Abbott withdrew and sent a recorded message.

Speakers at the NRA convention talked of the increased safety by arming the public, but most public opinion rejected that theory, and called for action from government to bring a reduction in shootings. Proponents of restrictions in gun sales and military style weapons, point to experience in other countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, where total bans on guns has brought a sharp reduction in killings, both mass shootings and individual deaths.

Even in Texas, they point out that a ban on assault weapons was effective, but when it expired the number of deaths from mass shootings increased sharply.

Sen. Carol Alvarado on Gun Safety Reform

Austin, TX — The Texas Senate Democratic Caucus sent the following letter to Governor Abbott:

Dear Governor Abbott:

The members of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus urge you to immediately call an emergency special session to address gun violence in Texas in the wake of this latest gut-wrenching tragedy. We demand that this special session include passage of legislation that would:

• Raise the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21;

• Require universal background checks for all firearm sales;

• Implement “red flag” laws to allow the temporary removal of firearms from those who are an imminent danger to themselves or others;

• Require a “cooling off” period for the purchase of a firearm; and

• Regulate civilian ownership of high capacity magazines.

Early Voting for Primary Feb. 14 to 25

HARRIS COUNTY – Election season for 2022 kicks off with early voting for the primary races in crucial positions in Harris County starting Monday, Feb. 14. Early voting ends on Friday, Feb. 25 and Primary Election Day is Tuesday, March 1.

Among the primary races catching much of the attention are the Harris County judge race and the Pct. 2 commissioner race. Lina Hidalgo is the incumbent Harris County Judge but faces five opponents in the primary race. One of the Democratic challengers is Georgia D. Provost, a former Houston City Council candidate, and Erica Davis Constable Alan Rosen’s chief of staff. Other Democrats are Maria Garcia, Ahmad R. “Robbeto” Hassan, and Kevin Howard, according to the Texas Secretary of State Election Information page at https://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/candidates/index.shtml.

County raises COVID threat level

INCREASE IN COVID-19 HOSPITALIZATIONS TRIGGERS INCREASE IN HARRIS COUNTY COVID-19 THREAT LEVEL

Harris County, Texas – On January 10, 2022, Judge Lina Hidalgo announced that she is raising the county’s COVID-19 Threat Level Indicator from Level 2: Orange to Level 1: Red. A surge of the highly contagious Omicron variant has contributed to an increase in COVID transmission across Harris County.

Level 1 signifies a severe and uncontrolled level of COVID-19 transmission in Harris County. Residents experiencing symptoms should get tested and avoid contact with others, assuming they have COVID until they confirm otherwise. Any gatherings should be held outdoors and ideally with masking. Unvaccinated residents should avoid all gatherings and get vaccinated immediately.

“We’re finding ourselves again at a point in this pandemic where hospital staff are being stretched way too thin,” said Judge Hidalgo. “We owe it to our nurses, doctors, and teachers to take steps to protect ourselves and give them a break. If you have been on the fence about getting vaccinated, now is the time to roll up your sleeve. We are in the midst of a COVID-19 tsunami and our best defense are vaccines and booster shots. We’ve been here before, but this time we have more tools available and a better understanding of this virus.”

The COVID-19 vaccine and vaccine booster continues to be available at no charge for all Harris County residents. To find out more information, locations and hours, click ReadyHarris.org.

Hidalgo said she made the decision because hospitalizations and ICU cases have spiked at area hospitals, along with the positivity rate.

Abbott announces 3rd Special Session, agenda

(Photo by Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images)

AUSTIN – Governor Abbott today issued a proclamation announcing that he will convene a third special legislative session at 10 a.m. on Monday, September 20, 2021. The proclamation identifies 5 agenda items for the third Special Session.

“The Texas Legislature now has the opportunity to redraw legislative and congressional districts in accordance with the new census numbers,” said Governor Abbott. “In addition to redistricting, there are still issues remaining that are critical to building a stronger and brighter future for all Texans.”

Agenda items for the third Special Session will include:

Abbott signs Briscoe Cain legislation

Local State Representative Briscoe Cain, right, authored Censorship bill with Senator Bryan Hughes, left. At center, Governor Abbott displays signed bill.

Law Protects Texans From Wrongful Social Media Censorship

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today signed House Bill 20 into law, which protects Texans from wrongful censorship on social media platforms. The Governor was joined for the bill signing by Senators Bryan Hughes and Representative Briscoe Cain, the bill’s authors, as well as Senators Charles Perry, Dawn Buckingham, and Angela Paxton. The Governor named social media censorship legislation as an agenda item for the second special legislative session in August.

Voter Regulations bill passes, Abbott ready to sign controversial legislation

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today issued a statement following the passage of Senate Bill 1, which Republicans say will protect the integrity of elections in Texas:

“Protecting the integrity of our elections is critical in the state of Texas, which is why I made election integrity an emergency item during the 87th Legislative Session. I thank Senator Brian Hughes, Representative Andrew Murr, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, and Speaker Dade Phelan for stepping up to ensure that this bill made it to the finish line during the second special session. Senate Bill 1 will solidify trust and confidence in the outcome of our elections by making it easier to vote and harder to cheat. I look forward to signing Senate Bill 1 into law, ensuring election integrity in Texas.”

Senate Bill 1 creates uniform statewide voting hours, maintains and expands voting access for registered voters that need assistance, prohibits drive-through voting, and authorizes poll watchers to observe more aspects of the election process. The bill also bans and penalizes the distribution of unsolicited applications for mail-in ballots and gives voters with a defective mail-in ballot the opportunity to correct the defect.

UPDATE ON BILLS MOVING THROUGH THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE DURING THE SPECIAL SESSION

Report by State Representative Mayes Middleton

Abbott sued over mask mandate ban

A growing number of school districts, counties and cities have defied Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order banning mask mandates, as COVID-19 cases continue to spike due to the delta variant and a low rate of vaccination among Texans.

As KUT.org reported, officials in Dallas and Bexar counties won a first round in court in requiring masks in public schools and most government buildings. School districts in Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, among others, are requiring students, teachers and staff to wear masks.

Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton are appealing the initial district court decisions and have vowed to sue any government official who defies the governor’s order.

HOSPITALIZATIONS, COVID-19 CASES CONTINUE TO RISE

Meanwhile, the number of new cases of COVID-19, overwhelmingly among unvaccinated Texans, continues to rise with 98,383 reported in the past week along with 628 deaths, according to the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University. Hospitalizations are approaching the peak levels of mid-January, with 11,381 lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services, up 27% from the week before.

As students return to classrooms across the state, the number of children in Texas hospitalized with COVID-19 is at one of its highest levels since the pandemic began. In the 19- county region around Dallas and Fort Worth, there were no staffed pediatric beds available late last week, according to KUT.org.

County returns COVID threat level to RED

Delta Variant fills Hospitals

HARRIS COUNTY – Harris County judge Lina Hidalgo raised the COVID-19 threat level to “red” on Thursday afternoon, as the COVID-19 delta variant has increased hospitalizations and strained the region’s hospital resources over the past month.

It’s the first time the county has hit its highest threat level since June 2020.

The new advisory indicates that severe and uncontrolled outbreaks are present in the community and worsening, and that the public health capacity in the region is strained or exceeded, Hidalgo said.

“It’s straining our staff, it’s straining our hospitals, and it’s imposing heartbreak and anxiety in so many families in Harris County,” Hidalgo said.

The county judge called the latest surge a “perfect storm” of strained staff, a more transmissible virus, and the limited ability for local leaders to implement public health policies after Gov. Greg Abbott issued orders preventing such measures.

Hidalgo urged everyone eligible for a vaccine to get one, or else avoid “all but the most essential interactions.” She also recommended both the vaccinated and unvaccinated wear masks, and told the public to use ERs for life-threatening emergencies only.