State lawmakers on Sunday gave initial approval to an omnibus bill overhauling the state's electric supply system in response to February winter storms and power outages that left millions without power and more than 100 dead.

With a week to go in the legislative session, the Texas House on Sunday gave preliminary approval to a sweeping bill aimed at shoring up the state’s electric supply system and infrastructure, a proposal crafted in response to statewide power outages in February amid deadly winter storms that plunged millions of Texans into cold and darkness for days.

Senate Bill 3 would require certain infrastructure upgrades to prepare for extreme weather, seek to improve oversight of the state’s electricity supply chain and create a statewide emergency alert system in the event of power outages in the future.

“We all know exactly what this bill is,” said Rep. Chris Paddie, R-Marshall, author of the House version of the reform measure, which he said targets “the systematic failures from wellhead to light switch to try to address three main buckets: oversight and accountability, communication failures, which we saw throughout the system, and weatherization.”


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