RECAP: May 10th County Affairs Hearing / Election Early Voting for Democratic Primary Runoff in Begins Monday May 14th / Upcoming Committee Hearings

RECAP: May 10th County Affairs Hearing

On Thursday, May 10th, the House Committee on County Affairs that I chair held a hearing at the Capitol in Austin on two interim charges relating to Hurricane Harvey and natural disasters.

If you could not attend the hearing, you can click here to watch the video. Below, you can find time stamps of the various speakers that testified.

Click here for the Committee agenda.

In early June, we will hold a County Affairs hearing on Hurricane Harvey in Corpus Christi, represented by Committee Member Rep. Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi).  More details to follow. Below is a list of speakers that testified during the hearing, along with time stamps. Thank you to all who testified in front of the Committee.

The Committee met to hear invited and public testimony on the following interim charges:
Interim Charge #1: Examine how emergency response activities are organized, funded, and coordinated. Review the impact of natural disasters on county finances. Identify any deficiencies in authority for the most populous counties related to infrastructure planning, emergency response, and recovery. Explore ways to improve efficiencies and manage costs while protecting public safety. Additionally, study the relationship between the state, counties, non-governmental organizations, and churches in preparing for and responding to Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath, and determine if preparedness plans are adequate.

Interim Charge #2: Evaluate whether counties have the necessary ordinance-making and enforcement authority to deal with flood risk in unincorporated rural and suburban areas of Texas. Additionally, examine whether counties have adequate resources and authority to ensure that new development in unincorporated areas is not susceptible to flooding.

General Land Office – Overview of Emergency Response and Recovery (Starts at 00:09)

George P. Bush, Texas Land Commissioner, Texas General Land Office
Pete Phillips, Senior Deputy director of Community Development and Revitalization, Texas General Land Office

County and Regional Officials – Authority, Roles, and Impact
Panel #1 (Starts at 00:40)
Vincent Perez, Commissioner Precinct 3, El Paso County
Chuck Wemple, Chief Operating Officer, Houston-Galveston Area Council
Jim Allison, General Counsel, County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas

Panel #2 (Starts at 01:43)
Kharley Smith, Emergency Management Coordinator, Hays County
Clint Garza, Chief of Staff/Executive Director of Countywide Operations, Hays County
Tom Nuckols, Assistant County Attorney, Travis County
Stacey Scheffel, Certified Floodplain Manager Travis County

Hospitals – Impact, Response, and Recovery (Starts at 02:27)
Dr. Alan Vierling, Executive VP/Administrator, Harris Health System, Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital
Nathan Tudor, Chief Operating Officer, El Campo Memorial Hospital
Carrie Kroll, Vice President Advocacy, Quality and Public Health, Texas Hospital Association

Harris County – Authority, Impact, and Looking Forward (Starts at 03:25)
Shain Carrizal, Director of Administration and Finance, Harris County
Russ Poppe, P.E., Executive Director, Harris County Flood Control
Alisa S. Max, P.E., Manager of General Services Division, Harris County Engineering Department
Michael J. Turco, General Manager, Harris-Galveston Subsidence District

Health and Human Services – Overview of Emergency Response and Recovery (Starts at 04:22)
Chris Adams, Deputy Commissioner, System Support Services, Health and Human Services Commission
Wayne Salter, Associate Commissioner, Access and Eligibility Services, Health and Human Services Commission
Sonja Gaines, Associate Commissioner, Behavioral Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disability Services, Health and Human Services Commission
David Kostroun, Deputy Executive Commissioner, Regulatory Services, Health and Human Services Commission

Developers – County Authority, Current Standards, and Future Disaster Mitigation (Starts at 05:00)
Ned Muñoz, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel, Texas Association of Builders
Andres A. Salazar, PhD, PE, D.WRE, Managing Director of Water Resources, Walter P Moore and Associates, Inc. also representing American Society of Civil Engineers

Emergency Services – Types of Services and Funding
Panel #1 (Starts at 05:30)
Chief Mike Wisko, Legislative Director, Texas Fire Chiefs Association
Chief Robert Abbott, Fire Chief, Travis County Emergency Service District #6
Chief Kyle Taylor, Fire Chief, Hays County Emergency Service District #5

Panel #2 (Starts at 05:57)
Chief Brandon Kludt, Division Chief, Comal County Emergency Service District #3 – Canyon Lake Fire/EMS
Mark Jack, President, Texas State Association of Fire and Emergency Districts (SAFE-D)
Bob Janusaitus, Secretary, Texas State Association of Fire and Emergency Districts (SAFE-D)
John Carlton, General Counsel, Texas State Association of Fire and Emergency Districts (SAFE-D)

                
The County Affairs Committee hearing on May 10th. From left to right on the dais: Rep. Kyle Beiderman (R-Fredericksburg), Vice-Chairman Drew Springer (R-Muenster), Committee Director Kelsey Bernstein, Chairman Coleman (D-Houston), Calendars Committee Chairman Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi), and Rep. Tomas Uresti (D-San Antonio), and Rep. Earnest Bailes (R-Shephard).
Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush (left) testifying in front of the Committee alongside Pete Phillips, Senior Deputy director of Community Development and Revitalization for the Texas General Land Office. From left to right on the dais: Vice-Chairman Drew Springer (R-Muenster), Committee Director Kelsey Bernstein, Chairman Coleman (D-Houston), Calendars Committee Chairman Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi), and Rep. Tomas Uresti (D-San Antonio).


Early Voting in Democratic Primary Runoff Election Begins Monday, May 14th

Early voting in the Democratic Primary Runoff Election in Harris County begins Monday, May 14th. I encourage you to vote early as lines are typically shorter and you can vote at any polling location. Click here to find a polling location close to you. Remember to bring a valid form of ID with you to the polls. Click here for a list of approved forms of ID. Even if you didn’t vote in the initial primary, you can vote in the primary runoff election.

Early Voting Hours
Monday-Friday, May 14th-May 18th | 7am-7pm

Election Day is Tuesday, May 22nd.

Please read below for my list of people I’m endorsing for the Democratic Primary Runoff Election.

SHARON M. BURNEY for Justice of the Peace
Precinct 7, Place 2

I support Sharon  M. Burney for justice of the Peace, Precinct 7, Place 2. She served in Education for 24 years at HISD, and co-created and administrated the Lighted Schoolhouse, a program for homeless and high-risk youth. Ms. Burney is also endorsed by the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats – Harris County, The Harris County Tejano Democrats, and the Communications Workers Union.

Governor
Andrew White

Texas Congressional District 7
Lizzy Fletcher

Texas State Senate – District 17
Fran Watson

Democratic County Treasurer
Dylan Osbourne

Democratic County School Trustee, Position 6, Precinct 1
Danyahel (Danny) Norris


Upcoming Committee Hearings

Next week, two Committees that I serve on are holding hearings in Austin at the Texas State Capitol. Please see below for details.

WHAT: Committee on Opioids and Substance Abuse, led by Chairman Four Price (R-Amarillo)
WHEN: Tuesday, May 15th, 2018 at 10:00am
WHERE: Texas State Capitol in Austin, TX – Room E2.012

WHAT: Committee on Public Health, led by Chairman Four Price (R-Amarillo)
WHEN: Thursday, May 17th, 2018 at 10:00am
WHERE: Texas State Capitol in Austin, TX – Room E2.012

If you cannot attend the hearings, they will be available live stream by clicking here at the time the hearings begin.


Our song of the week is “I’ve Been Everywhere…In Texas” Performed by Brian Burns.

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