Mayor, Governor Still at Odds Over Harvey Relief

Governor Greg Abbott

As the Atlantic hurricane season gets underway, the city of Houston is still butting heads with Texas leadership over recovery costs from Harvey.

Gov. Greg Abbott accuses the city of only using a small portion of the $50 million already loaned from Austin.  But Mayor Sylvester Turner says it's not enough, and wants the governor to tap into the state's Rainy Day fund.

“You're not dealing with just a mayor, you're dealing with a 25-year incumbent state rep who was also at one time a member of appropriations and chair of it, so he doesn't just know the ins and outs of the Legislature, he knows where the money is,” says Dr. Robert Stein, fellow in urban politics at Rice University's Baker Institute.

Stein says communities impacted by Harvey are struggling to find matching funds the governor is calling for to leverage federal money.

“If in fact it's such a smart idea that we should apply for federal funds, why doesn't the governor at least underwrite that risk now so these projects can get going before the next hurricane hits?”

Stein says the debate could become a much bigger issue next legislative session.

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