orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Local News

April 26, 2013

House OKs emergency spending for schools, fires

AUSTIN, Texas — Firefighter training following a deadly explosion in West, money to arm Texas prosecutors and an extra $500 million for public schools were ways that House lawmakers Friday considered spending the final dollars in the current state budget.

Not all the proposals survived. But the House eventually gave overwhelming approval to an $875 million spending bill that includes an immediate half-billion dollar payout to classrooms and settles the costs from fighting wildfires that ravaged the state in 2011.

Lawmakers also approved $2 million for disaster recovery effort in West, where dozens of families in the small town of 2,800 people remain displaced following the blast at the West Fertilizer Co. plant last week.

Fourteen people were killed in the explosion, most of whom were volunteer firefighters and emergency medics.

But that fresh tragedy did not compel House members to push through a $60 million proposal for more training and resources for volunteer firefighter departments statewide. Ground rules of the budget debate demanded that lawmakers find money to cut if they wanted to spend, and Democrats balked at the training coming at the expense of a program to help feed low-income children.

"We've been sent here to make tough choices," Republican state Rep. David Simpsons said.

The proposal was soundly defeated moments after Democratic state Rep. Naomi Gonzalez cried while describing growing up in a struggling family that would have benefited from programs to make sure schoolchildren don't go hungry on weekends.

"(This) does an injustice to children like me who, growing up, did not have food at the table," Gonzalez said. "Who had parents that are working hard who don't want to be part of the system, who want to give their children something to eat at night."

Gov. Rick Perry still must sign the spending bill. But with the spending for the current two-year budget now out of the way, lawmakers can devote their full attention in the final month of the 140-day session to hammering out a final budget for 2014-15.

Text Only
Local News
  • BCHS SOM.jpg Student of the Month

    The Bridge City Chamber of Commerce recognized Jayden Trahan, at middle, as the Bridge City High School “Student of the Month”....

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Health Scores

    The Orange County Health Code and Compliance Inspector recently visited 20 food service businesses in the county with 13 receiving a score of 100 for no violations present during the inspections.

    April 21, 2014

  • Bridge City Police Beat (March 30 - April 5, 2014)

    The Bridge City Police Department responded to the following calls from March 30 - April 5, 2014.

    April 20, 2014

  • MADD VHS.jpg MADD motivation

    Marissa Anderson, Family and Consumer Science teacher at Vidor High School, invited two guest speakers from MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), Kathy Hernandez and Dani Simien, to speak to students at the school recently.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NAACP to hold candidates forum on Tuesday

    The May 10 general election is just around the corner and one organization wants to make sure voters are well informed on candidates in two specific races.

    April 20, 2014

  • Library Family of the Year.JPG Library Family of the Year announced

    The American Association of University Women (AAUW) presented the Garmon family of Orange with their annual Library Family of the Year award at the Orange Public Library Saturday morning.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • OCP concludes season with ‘Les Misérables’

    The Orange Community Players is ending its 2013-2014 season in fine style.

    April 19, 2014

  • Texas BBQ Fest.jpg Texas Bar-B-Q Festival will feature new rides, large cook-off contest

    The Texas Bar-B-Q Festival is back for another four-day weekend full of excitement, carnival rides and games, music, and tasty food.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ag Roundtable 2.jpeg Nichols meets with Orange County agriculture leaders

    Sen. Robert Nichols, in partnership with the Texas Agrilife Extension, conducted a round table discussion with agriculture leaders from Orange County on Tuesday.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Butterfly release Releasing butterflies, celebrating the Earth

    The seventh annual butterfly release at Shangri La Botanial Gardens, the most popular attraction of each year’s Eco-Fest celebration, was attended by hundreds of area residents on Friday.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide