Phelan: Bills bolster flood protection

Published 3:12 pm Sunday, May 26, 2019

Special to The News

AUSTIN — The Texas Legislature has passed Senate Bill 7 and House Joint Resolution 4, which establishes the Flood Infrastructure Fund and the Texas Infrastructure Resiliency Fund. This legislation will create the framework for disaster recovery, which will finance flood mitigation projects across the state, according to a news release from the office of state Rep. Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont.

The news release said, “With our rapidly growing population, the impact of flooding events continues to increase across the state. Flooding activity does not respect municipal or county lines but rather the regional watershed.

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“With the passing of this historic legislation Texas will have the necessary cooperation and organization among local government entities when planning resiliency projects and will help our state deal with disasters in a cohesive and united way for years to come.”

“This legislation is critical for creating a more resilient Texas, and I am proud of the work that the members of the Texas legislature did to pass SB 7, HJR 4, and the other disaster-related bills this session.

“I would like to thank Senator Creighton for his leadership in working with me to pass these historic bills,” State Representative Dade Phelan.

SB 7 and HJR 4, authored by Rep. Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, will direct $1.68 billion from Texas’ savings account toward repairs and flood mitigation projects following Hurricane Harvey.

“Rep. Phelan has been at the front lines of preparing our state for future disasters by passing a number of priority bills to drastically improve flood planning and mitigation across the State of Texas,” said Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen. “His legislation applies the lessons learned from Hurricane Harvey to improve response and recovery statewide, which will undoubtedly save countless lives in the event of future disasters. Texans have undergone enormous challenges in the months since Hurricane Harvey devastated the Gulf Coast, but even in the face of our state’s greatest disaster, they remained resilient.

“Thanks to Rep. Phelan’s efforts, we now have the resources to match.”

SB 7 and HJR 4 now headed to Gov. Abbott’s desk to be signed into law.

Phelan is serving his third term in the Texas House of Representatives. He serves House District 21, representing both Jefferson and Orange Counties. He chairs the House Committee on State Affairs.