Governor Abbott Signs Proclamation Creating Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas
TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME:
WHEREAS, Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast on Friday, August 25, 2017, causing massive destruction along the Coastal Bend before moving up the Texas coast into Central and Southeast Texas resulting in unprecedented flooding and tragic loss of life; and
WHEREAS, the enormity of Harvey’s destruction in small coastal communities, in the Houston area, and in the Beaumont area and beyond has caused unprecedented damage in many parts of the state to the public infrastructure upon which Texans and the Texas economy depend; and
WHEREAS, many communities affected by this disaster are in immediate need of aid from the state and federal governments for the restoration of public infrastructure such as roads, bridges, schools, government buildings, and other public facilities; and
WHEREAS, the swift and effective restoration of damaged public infrastructure throughout the disaster area is of paramount importance to the Texas economy and to the people of Texas who live and work in the communities affected by Hurricane Harvey; and
WHEREAS, the State of Texas must provide coordinated leadership to assist local governments and citizens with the resources they need to facilitate the recovery and rebuilding effort;
THEREFORE, I, GREG ABBOTT, Governor of the State of Texas, by the authority vested in me by the Texas Constitution and Sections 418.011, 418.016, and 418.017 of the Texas Government Code, do hereby proclaim the following:
- The Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas is hereby established.
- The Commissioner of the Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas shall be John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System, an agency of the State of Texas, who shall have the executive power to act on behalf of the Commission.
- The Commission, under the leadership of Chancellor Sharp, shall exercise executive authority, delegated by the Governor, to marshal state agency resources in order to coordinate the statewide effort to rebuild public infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Harvey including roads, bridges, schools, government buildings, and other public facilities.
- The Commission shall have any authority necessary and proper to effectively coordinate the State’s effort to recover and rebuild public infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Harvey, subject to oversight by the Governor.
- The duties of the Commission shall include: assisting local governmental entities and nonprofit organizations to assess and identify rebuilding needs and to navigate state and federal resources available for the rebuilding effort; advocating for the interests of state and local government on matters related to disaster response; and providing expertise and assistance to local governmental entities and nonprofit organizations throughout the rebuilding process.
- The Commission shall establish and operate a one-stop support center for local officials and other community leaders seeking information and assistance regarding efforts to rebuild public infrastructure.
- The Texas A&M University System, its member agencies and universities, and its employees, are authorized to participate in and support the work of the Commission in the recovery and rebuilding effort.
- The Commission is authorized to seek the participation and support of other state agencies and state university systems in this effort, and such agencies and university systems and their employees are authorized to participate in and support the recovery and rebuilding effort.
- Pursuant to Section 418.016 of the Texas Government Code, any statute or administrative rule regarding the procedures for staffing, travel, or procurement by The Texas A&M University System is hereby suspended to the extent it would interfere with or delay the swift establishment of the Commission’s capacity to perform the duties assigned herein. Notwithstanding this suspension, The Texas A&M University System should take reasonable steps to ensure it receives good value for any expenditure of public funds.
The Commission and the terms of this proclamation shall remain in effect until modified, amended, rescinded, or superseded by me or by a succeeding governor.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto signed my name and have officially caused the Seal of State to be affixed at my office in the City of Austin, Texas, this the 7th day of September, 2017.