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(Left to right) State Rep. Chris Paddie, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and State Sen. Kelly Hancock show off Senate Bills 2 and 3 during a press conference at the Capitol on June 8. Abbott signed the bills into law to reform the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and weatherize and improve the reliability of the state's power grid. Photo: Montinique Monroe via Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed into law Tuesday a pair of bills aimed at improving the state's main power grid and reforming the agency that operates it.

Why it matters: The move comes months after a winter storm blew out Texas' power infrastructure and left over 4.8 million homes and businesses without power for days, per Texas Tribune. Calls to revamp the power infrastructure have grown since.

  • The state said that the February storm killed 151 people, though a BuzzFeed analysis estimated that at least 700 people died as a result of the storm.

Among other provisions, the legislation:

  • Requires power generator companies to prepare for extreme weather.
  • Mandates upgrades to power generators and transmission lines.
  • Instructs electricity providers to inform customers on how to register as "critical" to ensure households that require electricity for life-saving medical devices don't have their power cut.
  • Sets up an emergency alert system to warn Texans of weather emergencies and power outages.
  • Gives state politicians more influence over governance of ERCOT, the state's main grid operator.
  • Allows $6.5 billion in ratepayer-backed bonds for natural gas utilities and electric cooperatives in an effort to boost the state's energy market.

Worth noting: One of the new laws is more lenient toward natural gas fuel companies, the Tribune writes.

What he's saying: "Everything that needed to be done was done to fix the power grid in Texas," Abbott tweeted after he signed the bills into law.

Go deeper

Exclusive: Quartz, NYT vets launch new media company about work

Photo credit: Emma Howells for Charter

Quartz co-founders Kevin Delaney and Jay Lauf, along with New York Times veteran Erin Grau, are launching a new media and services company called "Charter" that is centered around the future of work, the founders told Axios.

Why it matters: "There are other media companies that write about this topic — some occasionally and some more frequently, but it's one topic among many things that they do," Delaney said. "This is a driving focus for us."

Biden endorses bill to end sentencing disparity for crack and powder cocaine

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Biden administration endorsed a bill Tuesday that would end sentencing disparities for crack versus powder cocaine offenses.

The big picture: Supporting the legislation follows through on one of Biden's campaign promises. But it's a shift from decades ago, when Biden spearheaded efforts to pass the legislation that implemented the disparities in the first place.

White House to acknowledge U.S. will miss July 4 vaccination goal

Fireworks in New York City to celebrate the state reaching a 70% vaccination rate. Photo: Liao Pan/China News Service via Getty Images

The Biden administration plans to acknowledge on Tuesday it will likely miss its goal of vaccinating 70% of U.S. adults with at least one dose by July 4, NBC News first reported and Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: Despite falling short of the goal, the White House still believes most Americans will be safe to fully celebrate Independence Day, as COVID-19 cases and deaths remain at low levels throughout much of the country.