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35 Texas counties are eligible for individual disaster assistance

Residents of a total of 35 Texas counties are now eligible for individual disaster assistance after a series of severe storms and flooding that began in late April, The Dallas Morning News reported.

“I thank our federal partners and emergency response personnel across our great state who are working tirelessly to protect and support their fellow Texans,” Gov. Greg Abbott said Saturday. “Texas will continue to provide all necessary resources to regions of the state recovering from these storms.”

Under the individual assistance program, funding can be provided for temporary housing, emergency home repairs, uninsured and underinsured losses of personal property, disaster legal services, disaster unemployment assistance, and medical, dental and funeral expenses caused by the disaster, The reported News.

The following counties are eligible for the federal aid: Austin, Bell, Calhoun, Collin, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, Eastland, Ellis, Falls, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Henderson, Hockley, Jasper, Jones, Kaufman, Lamar , Leon , Liberty, Montague, Montgomery, Navarro, Newton, Polk, San Jacinto, Smith, Terrell, Trinity, Tyler, Van Zandt, Walker and Waller.

Homeowners and renters can apply for the assistance at disasterassistance.gov or by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency hotline at 800-621-3362 between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Mathematical results are still lagging behind, as STAAR results show

Scores released from the state’s standardized test indicate that high school students are still struggling with algebra, with scores 17 percentage points lower than students’ pre-pandemic scores in the spring of 2019. The Texas Tribune reported that the scores in Algebra 1 remained essentially unchanged, with 45% passing. degree levels.

“The data is clear; Students in Texas continue to struggle with their math recovery,” said Gabe Grantham, policy advisor at the public policy think tank Texas 2036. “We run the risk of students being ill-equipped to enter the future workforce without the basic math skills needed to be successful. ”

On the plus side, the percentage of Texas students proficient or proficient in English has increased from 45% to 57% since 2017, the Texas Education Agency reported.

On the five items tested, low-income students scored lower than other students. For example, 35% of low-income students met the Algebra I level, compared to 61% of all other students.

PUC is seeing a strong industry response to the loan program

The Public Utility Commission has received 125 letters of intent to apply for loans through the Texas Energy Fund Loan Program, designed to boost energy generation across the state. The loan requests total $38.9 billion for nearly 56,000 megawatts of proposed power generation projects for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

“To ensure reliable, affordable electricity for the growing number of homes and businesses in Texas, we need more on-demand, dispatchable energy generation,” said PUCT Chairman Thomas Gleeson. “Seeing such a strong initial response from the industry … is an encouraging sign that the Texas Energy Fund will be an effective tool and drive the investments needed to bring more on-demand power to the state.”

The program will provide low-interest loans to finance new construction or upgrades to existing electric generating facilities and requires a minimum of 100 MW of new generation to be added to the ERCOT grid.

Scholarship possible come to Dallas

Efforts are underway to create a Texas-based stock exchange that its backers believe could be a major boost to the Texas economy. The Texas Standard reported that backers have raised $120 million in capital to launch a stock exchange in Dallas later this year. Backers include BlackRock, Citadel Securities and about two dozen other investors. The backers of the Texas Stock Exchange are seeking registration with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which will begin later this year.

“Texas and the other states in the southeastern quadrant have become economic powerhouses. Combined with the demand we see from investors and corporations for expanded alternatives to stock trading and listing, this is an opportune time to build a major, national stock exchange in Texas,” said James Lee, founder and CEO of TXSE Group.

Stocks, bonds and other securities can be traded on stock exchanges. If TXSE is cleared to trade, it would be the first exchange to open in the country in recent years.

The Dallas region is second only to New York in the number of financial sector jobs, with approximately 400,000 employees – about half the number of financial sector jobs in the Big Apple.

Consumer protection rules apply as summer approaches

The Public Utility Commission is reminding Texans of consumer protection rules that prohibit disconnecting an individual’s electric service during extreme weather. Providers are required to offer deferred payment for bills incurred during extreme weather as the state heads into another long, brutal summer.

“Anyone who has experienced a Texas summer knows that having reliable power to cool your home or business is a matter of health and safety,” said PUCT President Thomas Gleeson. “Ensuring that power stays on for all consumers during extreme weather, regardless of their financial situation, is a top priority for the PUCT.”

Gleeson added that the PUC wants Texans to be aware of rules to protect them if temperatures start to rise. Consumers are encouraged to first contact their electricity supplier to resolve any issues regarding payment options. If they are unable to find a resolution, they can contact the PUC Consumer Protection Division at 888-782-8477 or by sending an email (email protected).

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