Texas Senate unveils plan in wake of Hurricane Harvey

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republican lawmakers say Texas would spend nearly $2 billion on flood control and local projects under the first major legislation filed in response to Hurricane Harvey.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Wednesday defended lawmakers not calling a special session in 2017 after Harvey dumped more than 50 inches of rain in Houston and became one of the costliest disasters in U.S history.

A new Senate package calls for creating the first statewide flood plan in Texas. It would also give local communities struck by Harvey money to drawn down federal dollars.

Republicans say the money wouldn’t go to homeowners but instead be used for flooding and disaster relief projects.

At least 68 people directly died from Harvey’s effects. The Category 4 hurricane caused an estimated $125 billion in damage.