Abbott extends disaster declaration for 30 days

By R. Hans Miller | Times Senior Reporter
Posted 4/12/20

Tex. Governor Greg Abbott has extended his disaster declaration his office announced Easter Sunday. The declaration was initially issued March 13 and Chapter 418.014 of the Texas Government Code …

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Abbott extends disaster declaration for 30 days

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Tex. Governor Greg Abbott has extended his disaster declaration his office announced Easter Sunday. The declaration was initially issued March 13 and Chapter 418.014 of the Texas Government Code requires that the governor renew the declaration at 30 days or it will expire.

"By extending my Disaster Declaration, we are ensuring the state of Texas continues to have adequate resources and capabilities to support our communities and protect public health," Abbott said in a formal statement. "I urge all Texans to continue practicing social distancing and abide by the guidelines laid out by the CDC and my Executive Orders to slow the spread of COVID-19."

According to the statute, the declaration will expire after another 30 days unless it is again extended by Abbott. Additionally, the declaration may be lifted by an executive order from Abbott if he finds that “the threat or danger has passed;  or (B)  the disaster has been dealt with to the extent that emergency conditions no longer exist.”

Abbott’s disaster declaration activates Texas’ Emergency Management Plan and the State Operations Center to improve the state’s ability to respond, according to the governor’s website. It also allows the Texas Department of Emergency Management to reassign personnel and other resources – including supplies received from the Strategic National Stockpile – as needed to address the emergency situation that caused the disaster declaration. Abbott’s actions also allow the Office of the Texas Attorney General to pursue cases against those found to be price-gouging necessary supplies such as fuel or medical supplies.

Abbott has issued more than 110 executive actions since his initial March 13 disaster declaration, with most of those either directly or indirectly associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Abbott continues to encourage Texans to practice social distancing and support health care workers and others on the front lines in the fight against the new coronavirus.

"The State of Texas is forever grateful for the committed health care workers serving on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response," Abbott said in an April 11 statement supporting health care workers. "Their sacrifice and hard work cannot be overstated, and they play a crucial role in ensuring their fellow Texans have the care and support they need during this challenging time. I ask that all Texans join me and Cecilia in praying for these heroic Texans."

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