AUSTIN, Texas -- Despite an amended ordinance going into effect in Austin Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott appears to be moving forward with his pledge to use state resources to address the city’s homeless situation.
A statement provided by the governor’s press secretary Tuesday says the governor has directed Texas Department of Transportation crews to begin cleaning encampments from underpasses throughout the city beginning November 4.
The statement also says part of the plan includes providing those experiencing homelessness with access to services and care, both short-term services and long-term solutions created in conjunction with faith-based organizations and members of the private sector.
At that time, Abbott wrote:
“As the Governor of Texas, I have the responsibility to protect the health and safety of all Texans, including Austin residents. Further inaction by you and the Austin City Council will leave me no choice other than to use the tools available to the State of Texas to ensure that people are protected from health and safety concerns caused by the Austin homeless policies. As a result, I will give you until November 1, 2019 to demonstrate consequential improvement in the Austin homelessness crisis and the danger it poses to the health and safety of the public. If meaningful reforms are not implemented by then, I will direct every applicable state agency to act to fulfill my responsibility to protect the health and safety of Texans in your jurisdiction.”
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