With Election Day just around the corner, Texas voters have been taking advantage of the early voting period in record numbers. Though the Lone Star State has historically lagged behind in voter participation, Texas is currently leading the nation in voter turnout with nearly 6 million cast ballots, according to the Secretary of State’s latest data. Regardless of your political affiliation, such a tremendous increase in voter participation is a welcome improvement that promotes and encourages both civic engagement and quality representation. If you haven’t already voted, you can still take advantage of early voting, which will continue until October 30. I want to encourage you to vote early this cycle, if possible, to avoid long lines and enjoy the convenience of voting at any early voting location within your county of registration.

With that, here’s an update from your State Capitol. . .

Capitol Update

Governor Abbott and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) recently announced the establishment of the Supplementary Special Education Services (SSES) program to connect eligible students with severe cognitive disabilities with additional support for critical services. This program is aimed to connect Texas families to high-quality, personalized services through a funding allocation to help offset learning disruptions related to COVID-19. Through this funding source, Texas families can purchase supplemental support such as tutoring, therapy, and digital resources. Should you, or someone you know, have a student that was enrolled in public school during the 2020-2021 and has been identified as having low incidence disability, I would encourage you to visit www.tea.texas.gov for more information about this newly established program.

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) recently announced the procurement of 2.9 million doses of the flu vaccine for the Texas Vaccines for Children Program and the new Adult Influenza Initiative. These programs will enhance flu vaccine coverage as part of the state’s COVID-19 response by decreasing the number of illnesses and hospitalizations to ensure that health care providers can focus resources on treating COVID-19 patients. The Center for Disease Control has provided one million flu vaccines to DSHS which will distribute the vaccines to adults who are at a higher risk of COVID-19 infection or severe disease, such as health care employees, first responders, long-term care patients and staff, and others with underlying health conditions. For more information on the flu and vaccination locations in your area, please visit www.texasflu.org.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact our office if we can help you in any way. Our District office may be reached at (936) 634-2762.