This Week in Texas: February 24, 2021

Posted February 24, 2021 in The Mignon Memo

Committee Hearings on Power Outages

Winter storm Uri caused millions of residents in the state to lose power, many for multiple hours or longer during below-freezing temperatures. Lawmakers will be in hearings this week trying to determine exactly what went wrong, the steps that were taken to prepare before the storm hit, and most importantly, what can be done to ensure this never happens again.

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan asked the House State Affairs and House Energy Resources to hold a joint hearing on Thursday, February 25, to review the power outages. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the head of the state Senate, also weighed in by saying he will “take responsibility for fixing” what happened. The Senate Business & Commerce Committee will also hold hearings on Thursday, February 25 to get answers on the operations of the state’s power grid.

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s Priorities

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick announced his top priorities for the 2021 Legislative Session yesterday. Patrick said in a statement that he is “confident these priorities address issues that are critical to Texans at this time” and that some of them changed in recent days due to the storm, which left millions of Texans without power. Patrick’s specifics for his 31 priorities remain unclear. Almost all of his priority bills have not been filed yet and have not been made publicly available.

Special Election Result for HD 68

The results are in to decide who will represent District 68 (North Texas) in the Texas House. Republican David Spiller won the special election runoff yesterday. Spiller is an attorney and the Jacksboro Independent School District Vice President. He will replace Drew Springer, who was elected to the state Senate in December.

Only in Austin…

Texas legislators and staff from the House Republican Caucus and House Democratic Caucus teamed up last week to donate water jugs from Capitol offices and donate them to shelters, nursing homes, and others in need who had no water in the Austin area. Speaker Dade Phelan also made a donation (shown above).