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Resiliency

Houston’s ability to mitigate historic rainfall has become increasingly critical following Hurricane Harvey and other major flood events in recent years. Our economy and our communities depend on reasonable protection from flooding. To ensure the long-term infrastructure and resiliency needs of the greater Houston region are met, the Partnership is committed to working with local, state and federal officials to advocate for flood mitigation funding. Through the Infrastructure and Resiliency Advisory Committee, the Partnership will continue its work of prioritizing efforts on coordinating between government and business groups and advocating for the infrastructure resiliency needs of the region.

The Partnership's Priorities for Resiliency

  • Advocate for the appropriation, timely distribution of funds and appropriate regulatory framework for flood recovery and mitigation.

  • Continue to work with the City of Houston and Harris County on developing and implementing a resilience strategy, one that continues to improve the city’s and county’s street and drainage infrastructure.

  • Establish Houston as a global model for resiliency.

Actively Involved

The Partnership has studied proven strategies for building flood resilience and built a data-driven case for investment in the state's flood recovery and mitigation.

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86th Legislative Session Summary

Passing flood resilience legislation was a major accomplishment...

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Urban Resiliency for the Gulf Region: Infrastructure and Res...

A delegation representing the Infrastructure and Resiliency Adv...

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Related News

Membership

COVID-19 Public Policy Update: April 8, 2020

4/8/20
In response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Partnership will provide a daily update on public policies and other newsworthy items from local, state and national levels of government. Executive Summary  All levels of government continue to implement economic and public health policies to respond to COVID-19. At the federal level, CMS Administrator Seema Verma announced $30 billion from the $100 billion allocated to hospitals in the CARES Act will be disbursed this week. Hospitals will receive the funding based on the individual hospital’s Medicare revenue. While Congress is in recess, negotiations, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have begun on a fourth phase for the coronavirus recovery package. Despite earlier discussions of this phase being focused on infrastructure, Speaker Pelosi has recently indicated the package will be like the recently passed CARES Act and focus on small business assistance, direct payments to Americans, and funding for public health. At the state level, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission will temporarily close all state parks and historical sites to strengthen social distancing measures. At the local level, Harris County Commissioners Court approved an agreement with Houston-Galveston Area Council for a Small Business Economic Assistance Loan Program in response to COVID-19. The program aims to help businesses impacted by the pandemic by offering zero-interest, forgivable loans up to $25,000 to meet ordinary and necessary operating expenses and obligations.  Federal Phase 4 Recovery Package – “CARES Act 2”  While Congress is in recess, negotiations, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have begun on a fourth phase for the coronavirus recovery package.  Despite earlier discussions of this phase being focused on infrastructure, Speaker Pelosi has recently indicated the package will be like the recently passed CARES Act and focus on small business assistance, direct payments to Americans, and funding for public health.  It is anticipated the bill will be on the House floor on April 20th, when Congress is expected to return to Washington, D.C.  CARES Act Hospital Funding  CMS Administrator Seema Verma announced $30 billion from the $100 billion allocated to hospitals in the CARES Act will be disbursed this week.  Hospitals will receive the funding based on the individual hospital’s Medicare revenue and funds will be received via direct deposit. It should be noted that the money will not be released on a first come, first serve basis.  Numbers  As of early Tuesday morning, Johns Hopkins University is reporting nearly 400,000 cases and over 12,900 deaths in the United States.  African Americans may be disproportionately affected by COVID-19.  Reports are showing African Americans make up over 70% of deaths from COVID-19 in Louisiana and Chicago, while only approximately 30% of the population.  In Chicago, African Americans make up 30% of the population, yet represent 52% of the reported cases of COVID-19 and 72% of the related deaths.  Similar reports are coming out of Wisconsin, Washington, D.C., and Michigan.  More testing and better data are still needed, as most states and territories have not released racial or ethnic data.  Sources:  Washington Post NBC News  State  At the direction of Governor Abbott, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the Texas Historical Commission (THC) will temporarily close all state parks and historical sites to strengthen social distancing measures in response to COVID-19. State parks and historical sites will remain closed until further notice otherwise to be given by the Governor.  Governor Abbott announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has implemented an emergency rule that will provide increased flexibility to providers to serve dialysis patients during the COVID-19 crisis. This will allow end stage renal disease (ESRD) facilities to operate off-site outpatient locations for those who test positive for COVID-19 to prevent the spread of the virus to other dialysis patients.   Numbers  As of late afternoon on April 7: 8,262 cases in Texas. 154 deaths. 161 counties reporting cases. 88,649 tests administered.  Local  On Tuesday, Harris County Commissioners Court approved an agreement with Houston-Galveston Area Council for a Small Business Economic Assistance Loan Program in response to COVID-19.  The program aims to help businesses impacted by the pandemic by offering zero-interest, forgivable loans up to $25,000 to meet ordinary and necessary operating expenses and obligations. Businesses must demonstrate that they have been harmed by the pandemic. Loans can be forgiven through county tax breaks over five years. If the borrower violates the loan's conditions, the business will become ineligible for loan forgiveness and will begin repayment following a three-month grace period.  An amendment was accepted to track whether businesses that are approved for loans are MWBE businesses.  The program will go live Wednesday and anticipates cutting checks to businesses within 30 days.  To be eligible, businesses must have existed for at least one year, be in Harris County and in good standing with the tax assessor, have a net worth of less than $15 million and annual average net income of less than $5 million over the past two years.  Source: Houston Chronicle Visit the Partnership's COVID-19 Resource page for updates, guidance for employers and more information. And sign up for daily email alerts from the Partnership as the situation develops. 
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Membership

COVID-19 Public Policy Update: April 3, 2020

4/3/20
In response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Partnership will provide a daily update on public policies and other newsworthy items from local, state and national levels of government. Executive Summary  All levels of government continue to respond to the economic and public health impacts of COVID-19. At the federal level, the Department of the Treasury and the Small Business Administration issued guidance for the Paycheck Protection Program, the $350 billion initiative through the CARES Act to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. At the state level, Governor Greg Abbott waived some regulations for emergency medical service (EMS) providers, including some license and application renewal requirements to increase EMS worker availability. At the local level, Houston ISD has announced plans to resume meal distribution this Monday and will provide about 500 meals at 4-5 sites daily.  Federal Paycheck Protection Program Launched on Friday The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses. On Thursday evening, the Department of the Treasury and Small Business Administration issued guidance for the Paycheck Protection Program. The guidance, sample application and other key resources can be found here: For a top-line overview of the program click here. If you’re a lender, more information can be found here. If you’re a borrower, more information can be found here. Final Borrower Application Form *NEW*  Lender Electronic Data Form *NEW*  Paycheck Protection Program – Interim Final Rule *NEW*  House Committee on Coronavirus Oversight   House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is creating a House Select Committee on the coronavirus response, which will be chaired by Majority Whip Jim Clyburn.  The committee’s focus is stated to be the current status of the federal pandemic response and looking forward, not to address the initial response. However, the Speaker commented there will be a time for review of the initial response at a later date.   The committee will be charged with examining the federal response while ensuring taxpayer dollars are used efficiently and to save lives, deliver relief, and benefit the economy. The committee will have subpoena power according to the Speaker.   Speaker’s Press Release announcing committee formation.  Unemployment   Approximately 6.65 million Americans have filed for unemployment last week, bringing the total claims for the last two weeks to almost 10 million.   Direct Payments to Americans  Within two weeks the first direct deposits will be made.   Social security recipients will not have to file a new tax return. They will qualify for the payment. If one does not have direct deposit, a portal will be made available to provide a process to receive the payment.  Numbers  As of Tuesday afternoon, Johns Hopkins University is reporting over 230,000 cases, and over 5,700 deaths.   State  Governor Greg Abbott waived some regulations for emergency medical service (EMS) providers, including some license and application renewal requirements in an effort to increase EMS worker availability.  Numbers  As of noon on April 2: 4,669 cases in Texas. 70 deaths. 143 counties reporting cases. 50,679 tests administered.  Public Education Houston ISD Food Distribution  Houston ISD has announced plans to resume meal distribution this Monday and will provide about 500 meals at 4-5 sites daily. A map of the food distribution here.  Higher Education  Higher Education Institutions Fall 2020 enrollment forecasts are starting to be reviewed as institutions continue to understand the financial implications of COVID-19.    Policy Implications  $14 billion of the Education Stabilization Fun within the CARES Act will go directly to institutions based a formula which allocates 75% to the full-time enrollment (FTE) of PELL recipients and 25% of non-PELL FTE.  The formula excludes students who were fully online prior to COVID-19.  Visit the Partnership's COVID-19 Resource page for updates, guidance for employers and more information. And sign up for daily email alerts from the Partnership as the situation develops. 
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Economic Development

State of the City

Join us for our annual State of the City luncheon featuring City of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on Friday, May 8. In his fifth address with the Partnership, Mayor Turner will review Houston's progress…

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