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Message from Carlos - November 2017

November 1, 2017

I love this time of year. The leaves turn into a warm array of oranges and reds, the weather calls for warmer drinks, and we get to spend more time with family and friends. For some families the holidays present unique challenges that in the end put additional pressure on our food banks.

Food insecurity remains a major national and state issue as Texans cope with rising rent and health care prices, among many other complex factors. For many community members, the next meal is a choice between food and rent or even childcare.   

State and Community Efforts to Reduce Food Insecurity

November 1, 2017

Hunger is the feeling we get around mealtime that we can easily solve by eating. Food insecurity, on the other hand, is when we do not have the resources available to alleviate hunger or access meals. Food insecurity affects thousands of people in Senate District 19, and our most vulnerable, children and the elderly, experience the highest rates of food insecurity.

Learn About Local Issues Facing the Eagle Pass Community

October 11, 2017

Local businesses are the driving force of our economy, keeping money in our communities and leading to economic development which benefits the community as a whole. Profits of local businesses are reinvested in the community when spending and local tax collections increase, improving schools, roads and quality of life for residents. Nearly 20,000 individuals in District 19, including many in Eagle Pass, are self-employed and are helping to drive their local economic development through their small businesses.

OpEd: Raise the Smoking Age Locally

October 1, 2017

The time to end youth tobacco use has long passed. Nicotine is bad for our health, we know the effects of these products on the developing brain are not good, and we know that most long-term smokers began smoking when they were teenagers. The science is settled, and there is no counter-argument. And yet, despite all the evidence, we still allow 18 year old seniors in high school to buy cigarettes. Enough is enough. It's time to change.

Constitutional Amendments on the Ballot in November

October 1, 2017

During the 85th Legislative Session, seven joint resolutions proposing constitutional amendments passed in the Texas House and Senate. These proposed amendments now go to you, the voters, for your consideration on if they should become law. The amendments will be on the election ballot on Tuesday, November 7.

Three of the proposed amendments impact homeowners. Specifically, Propositions 1 and 6 provide exemptions from property taxes for partially disabled veterans and their surviving spouses, as well as the surviving spouses of first responders killed in the line of duty.

Message from Carlos - October 2017

October 1, 2017

As Southeast Texas begins to recover from Hurricane Harvey, the Texas Senate is evaluating the local and state responses to the Hurricane, and the best ways to move forward. Each Committee is tasked with evaluating and laying out solutions to specific issues, which will be used to shape policies in the 2019 Legislative Session.

As a member of the Health and Human Services, Finance, and Education Committees, I am prepared to address the spectrum of issues that Houston faces as it rebuilds into the family-friendly, business hub we know it to be.

Blue Ribbon Task Force Hard at Work on Mentoring Initiative

October 1, 2017

Senator Carlos Uresti took on the fight to help prevent and stop child abuse in 2003 following the horrific death of four year old Jovonie Ochoa by his grandmother. Senator Uresti and advocates in the community knew they needed to do better by our children and therefore, in 2005, unified under the Blue Ribbon Task force (BRTF). 

Energy Update - October 2017

October 1, 2017

The number of active drilling rigs at work in Texas is stable around 450, significantly higher than last year but slightly lower than last month's count, according to oilfield services firm Baker Hughes. Nationally, there were 908 rigs at work, down from 916 at this time last month. Overall, US crude production is steady around 9.5 million barrels/day, according to the Energy Information Agency. Oil prices rose gradually throughout September despite the disruptions to the supply chain caused by Hurricane Harvey. The price of West Texas Crude topped $51 for the first time in four months and the price of Brent Crude topped $56 – evidence, producers say that the world market is rebalancing. Stable prices will likely increase drilling activity in Texas.

For Those Under 21, Tobacco Purchases Under Scrutiny

September 25, 2017

By Carson Frame, Texas Public Radio
Source: http://tpr.org/post/those-under-21-tobacco-purchases-under-scrutiny

San Antonio may raise the age for tobacco purchases from 18 to 21, pending the results of an ongoing survey by Metro Health.

The survey, which began September 15, aims to gauge public opinion about increasing the age for tobacco purchases.

"We're looking to continue the survey for a few more weeks. We're hoping to reach about 5,000 individuals in the community," said Carol Schliesinger of Metro Health. 

Special Session Recap

September 1, 2017

On August 15th, the Texas Legislature concluded the first Special Session of the 85th Legislature. Similar to the regular session, the special session was marked by contentious issues. In total, out of the Governor's twenty named items, the eight items below became law.

One notable item is Senate Bill 6, which requires cities to give residents a vote on annexation. During the regular session, I had concerns that this bill could have negative impacts on our military bases that help fuel the economies of San Antonio, Del Rio, and many other Texas cities. Fortunately, in the recent special session, the Texas House added a provision to allow land use regulation around a military base, prior to passage of the bill.