News Roundup: Texas Senate Republicans Pass Nonbinding Resolution Proclaiming A ‘Crisis’ At The Border

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelApril 3, 2019 1:01 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

The Texas Senate has approved a ceremonial resolution to support President Donald Trump’s assertion there is an alleged immigration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The non-binding language passed Tuesday along party lines. In fact, Republicans brought up the resolution without alerting a single Democrat in the chamber beforehand.

State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, a Houston Republican, got the ball rolling on Senate Resolution 535.

“The border is in crisis. When you look at the statistics, they’re overwhelming. DHS [Department of Homeland Security] is expecting to report the interdiction of 100,000 migrants in March 2019,” Bettencourt said, speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday.

Democrats in the Senate protested the move, including Democratic State Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. of Brownsville.

“People who don’t live there can’t imagine what life on the border is. It’s a peaceful community. It really is, if you ask anyone. It’s not a partisan issues along the border,” Lucio said, also speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday.

The measure calls upon the U.S. Congress to fully fund efforts to secure the border. That includes building physical barriers.

A foundation is ending a multiyear effort to help American cities prepare for climate change. It was the largest privately funded climate adaptation initiative in the United States. But as Andrew Schneider of Houston Public Media explains, Houston’s funding is safe for now:

The Rockefeller Foundation is winding up its 100 Resilient Cities program after spending more than $160 million to prepare cities to deal with climate change and other looming threats. But Houston is a special case; the funding comes not directly from Rockefeller but from a sponsorship by Shell.

Marissa Aho is six weeks into a projected two-year term as Houston’s chief resilience officer.

“The Shell Corporation’s … $1.8 million contribution secured Houston as the 101st city, and allows us to move forward as planned with developing the Resilient Houston Strategy.”

 Two other Texas cities on the list, Dallas and El Paso, have already received their full grants from the foundation.

The University of Texas System Board of Regents picked former Secretary of the Air Force, Heather Wilson, to be the next president of the University of Texas at El Paso. That’s despite opposition from university staff, alumni, students and Democratic lawmakers due to Wilson’s past positions on LGBTQ issues.

As a Republican member of Congress, serving from 1998 to 2009, Wilson voted for a federal amendment to ban same-sex marriage. She also voted against bills that would protect LGBTQ people from hate crimes and employment discrimination. Wilson will start at UTEP in August.