About That DPS Cutback

So, when can you get your license these days?

About That DPS Cutback

Following pushback from elected officials, the Texas Department of Public Safety announced Tuesday that it was reversing a cutback in driver's license office hours announced last week.

On June 5, with little notice, the DPS abruptly instituted shorter office hours at 11 offices in Houston, Dallas, and El Paso. The hours had been 7:30am-6pm, and were shortened to 8am-5pm. Officials said the changes were part of a plan to lay off more than 100 full-time employees, reportedly in response to state budget cuts. Houston Sen. John Whitmire told the Houston Chronicle that on Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott's chief of staff told him the time changes would be reversed, a step later confirmed by DPS Director Steven McCraw and a tweet from Abbott. Whitmire noted that the state has $11 billion in the Rainy Day (reserve) Fund, and is spending nearly $1 billion on border security.

The change had also been questioned by Austin Reps. Donna Howard and Celia Israel, who wrote to McCraw on June 8, expressing concern about the new hours, and their effect on Texans' ability to "obtain necessary documentation required to vote." "This is especially critical," they wrote, "given that the DPS is currently being sued for failing to comply with the Help America Vote Act."

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Department of Public Safety, Greg Abbott, Steven McCraw, Donna Howard, Celia Israel

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