Archive for August, 2013

Federal government grants West major disaster declaration

Gov. Rick Perry announced Friday the federal government has granted the state’s request for aid to help rebuild the town of West. The town’s fertilizer plant exploded in April, killing 15 people and damaging hundreds of buildings, including the town’s schools.

FEMA had initially denied the state’s request for $35 million to help rebuild the schools and other infrastructure. A spokesman with Gov. Perry’s office said Friday FEMA will “work with the community identify those public works projects that sustained damage in the blast.” It is not clear yet if FEMA will grant the full $35 million.

Gov. Perry issued this statement, following FEMA’s decision:

“The approval of the state’s appeal for a major disaster declaration is great and welcome news for the people of West. I appreciate everyone who joined me in standing with the people whose lives have been forever impacted to move this appeal forward, especially our congressional delegation. This, along with the disaster relief funding provided by the Texas Legislature, will help this community rebuild their infrastructure, school district and public works as quickly as possible.”

Capital Tonight: Sizing up the candidate field for 2014

State Board of Education members are working quickly to to accommodate new graduation requirements approved by lawmakers this session. In Thursday’s show, we talked to two members about how the final package will be implemented.

TOP OF THE LIST

Annie’s List is run by Grace Ann Garcia of San Antonio, who worked for both President Bill Clinton and later Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It’s a group that has helped some of the state’s most successful female Democrats for nearly a decade. We spoke to Garcia about how her organization works and what Wendy Davis’s odds are for higher office.

WASHINGTON AND WEST

A House Homeland Security subcommittee met Thursday to evaluate what could have prevented the deadly explosion at a West, Texas fertilizer plant. Our Washington, DC reporter looked at what lawmakers are calling a problem of unidentified chemical facilities.