Ector County Commissioners voted Tuesday to raise the property tax rate by 6.5 percent. (Photo courtesy 401Kcalculator.org)

Midland and Odessa folks gave generously to Hurricane Harvey relief, Ector County ISD has a plan to improve struggling schools, and Ector County commissioners approved a property tax increase in this week’s news roundup. (more…)

Harvey

A Texas National Guardsman shakes hands with a resident after assisting his family during Hurricane Harvey flooding in Houston, Texas, Aug. 27, 2017 (Army National Guard photo by Lt. Zachary West).

How will Hurricane Harvey impact Texas long term – and what are people doing now to assist with the most pressing needs? We’ll look at these questions in this week’s news roundup. (more…)

 insuranceWhile Hurricane Harvey insurance claims are the first thought these days, every homeowner should know about a change to Texas homeowners insurance law that will go into effect on Friday.

House Bill 1744 was signed into law May 27 by Gov. Greg Abbott. Billed as tort-reform legislation that would reduce the opportunity for insurance fraud, some now say the law may very well get its first stress test in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

The law reduces the penalties insurance companies can face if they settle claims for too little, and it lessens the chance the companies will have to pay the homeowner’s attorneys fees if the homeowner sues. It also protects individual agents from things like diminished credit scores if they are individually sued.

The bill addresses all weather-related damage — including floods, wildfires, hail, and hurricanes.

We take a deeper look at the change and what you need to know here.