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Message from Carlos - June 2017

June 1, 2017

The 85th Texas Legislature has adjourned Sine Die. Legislation passed is now in the hands of the Governor, who will decide over the next week which bills he will sign, veto, or let become law without his signature.

Several bills I authored or sponsored are emergency items dealing with Child Protective Services and the Department of Family and Protective Services. Senate Bill 11 and House Bill 7 were signed by Governor Abbott on Wednesday.

Energy Update - June 2017

June 1, 2017

The number of drilling rigs at work in Texas rose to a count of 458, more than double the rig count of 173 at this time last year according to a May 26th report by Baker Hughes. Nationally, there were 908 rigs at work, up from 857 at this time last month. Overall, US crude production is rising slowly and is expected to average 9.3 million barrels/day for the year of 2017. The price of West Texas crude continued to hover around $50/barrel for the month of May.

Governor Signs Historic Foster Care and CPS Reform Bills

June 1, 2017

Austin, TX—Flanked by members of the Texas Senate and Texas House of Representatives, Governor Greg Abbott signed a suite of bills to improve the lives of individuals who work for and with the Child Protective Services (CPS) system. The bills― House Bill 4, House Bill 5, House Bill 7, and Senate Bill 11―passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers.

"When Governor Greg Abbott added child protection and reform to his list of emergency items this legislative session, I knew we would have the opportunity and the leadership we needed to make monumental changes to the CPS system. In my twenty years of working on CPS issues, I have never seen so many members interested in championing the cause. This session was truly historic.” said Senator Carlos Uresti.

Senator Uresti honors Ft. Stockton “Band of Brothers”

June 1, 2017

On Memorial Day, Senator Uresti was proud to recognize the Fort Stockton “Band of Brothers” in the Texas Senate. A family with deep roots in Fort Stockton, this true Band of Brothers fought for their country in many different locations and in two wars. The story begins with their father, Pablo Gonzales, who had ten children with his wife, Cruz Valencia. However, she died at a young age and he was left to raise the children with only the help of his sister. Notwithstanding this tragedy, he sacrificed much for his country by sending all seven of his sons to serve.

In the Second World War, six of the Gonzales sons joined the U.S. Army and were stationed within the United States, in Europe, and in the Pacific.

Sen. Uresti and Rep. Nevarez Pass Religious Freedom Bill for Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas

June 1, 2017

AUSTIN, TX—Senator Carlos Uresti passed House Bill 1891 with a bipartisan vote of 29-2 through the Texas Senate. HB 1891, by Rep. Poncho Nevarez and Sen. Carlos Uresti, allows members of the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas to hunt white-tailed deer off-season for religious or ceremonial purposes.

“Every American has a first amendment right to freely practice their religion. I’m extremely happy to send House Bill 1891 to the governor’s desk after 10 years of effort to find a compromise. This bill has been a long time coming for the Kickapoo Tribe” said Senator Uresti.

Senator Uresti passes major CPS reform through Senate

May 26, 2017

AUSTIN, TX— Senator Carlos Uresti passed House Bill 7 out of the Texas Senate unanimously on Wednesday. House Bill 7 by Representative Gene Wu and sponsored by Senator Carlos Uresti is a bipartisan bill that impacts every aspect of a legal case involving parents, children, and the Child Protective Services (CPS) system. The Texas house concurred on the Senate’s changes on Friday.

"When a family becomes involved with CPS, they deserve fair treatment and due process. The department must also have sufficient tools available to act immediately in those cases when a child is in a truly dangerous situation. House Bill 7 strikes that careful balance, and will ultimately save kids’ lives." said Senator Carlos Uresti

Senator Carlos Uresti Passes “Camo Alert” to Help Texas Veterans

May 1, 2017

Austin, TX—Senator Carlos Uresti passed Senate Bill 1622 unanimously today through the Texas Senate. SB 1622 creates a “Camo Alert” (short for camouflage) program for missing military members and veterans who suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or a traumatic brain injury.

“Having a tool like a Camo Alert could save the lives of those who put their own lives at risk in sacrifice to our country. As a Marine, the father of a Marine, and the brother of a Marine, I am constantly looking for ways to help our soldiers and Veterans. This bill would not have moved through the Senate without the help of Veterans, who are committed to looking out for their fellow wounded warriors.” said Senator Carlos Uresti.

Session Watch: Big Data Abounds

May 1, 2017

When it comes to making policy decisions around the Capitol, Big Data, defined as large data sets that can be analyzed for a host of patterns and trends, is driving many of the narratives.

As a longtime advocate for our abused and neglected children, I pay special attention to data collected on child abuse allegations, child abuse confirmations, Child Protective Services (CPS) caseworker turnover, the number of cases our CPS caseworkers are responsible for at any one given time, the number of families receiving prevention services, and the most disheartening—the number of child deaths due to abuse and neglect each year.

April is Festival and Fiesta Season in District 19

May 1, 2017

Saturday, April 8th, Senator Uresti attended the Poteet Strawberry Festival. This year's event was the 70th anniversary of the weekend-long celebration. With carnival rides, performers, and delicious foods, the festival exceeded all expectations. Despite the strawberry shortages of recent years, the event was a profound success with 35 food vendors and 90 booths for arts and crafts. 

Message from Carlos - May 2017

May 1, 2017

One month to go in the 85th Legislative Session. Both the Texas House and the Senate are sending our final bills over to the other side before taking up the bills of the opposite chamber, only to meet in the middle on the Governor’s desk by Sine Die, which falls on Monday, May 29th this year.

At this point in session there are many competing interests, jockeying to pass last minute legislative priorities or to shore up funding in the budget. The budget is in conference committee, where the differences between the House and Senate budgets are being ironed out.

Recently, I have passed a number of bills through the Senate including: