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Texas senators pass disaster recovery bills in wake of Hurricane Harvey

The Texas Senate unanimously passed three bills Wednesday to aid in disaster recovery.

AUSTIN, Texas — Members of the Texas Senate voted 31-0 to approve three disaster recovery bills in wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Senate Bill 6 creates a how-to manual to help communities respond to disasters. 

Senate Bill 7 creates a state matching-grant fund for recovery efforts and uses money from the Rainy Day Fund. 

Senate Bill 8 creates a statewide flood plan, which also ensures policies one community implements don't negatively impact the communities around it.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said he was proud of how the senators worked together to pass the bills. 

"The fact that Senate Bills 6, 7 and 8 will pass 31 to nothing on each bill I think is one of the greatest achievements that I've seen since I've been in the Senate of moving significant legislation forward," said Patrick on the Senate floor. "And I thank every one of you for realizing these are statewide issues."

The bills now go to the House of Representatives for consideration. 

On Wednesday, the Senate also passed Senate Bill 18, which requires universities to protect the right of free speech and expression. It states university leaders can't stop students from bringing controversial speakers to campus or charge high fees to those student groups.

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