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Energy Update - October 2016

October 1, 2016

The number of drilling rigs at work in Texas continued to rise in September with a count of 246 compared to 237 near the end of August, according to the Sept. 23 weekly report from oil services firm Baker Hughes. Nationally, there were 511 rigs at work compared to 487 at the end of August.

The price of oil hovered around the $45 mark during September as the markets worried about the historically high level of inventories and whether members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will agree to pull back on production.

U.S. crude oil inventories in the week ending Sept. 16 fell by 6.2 million barrels but still amounted to 504.6 million barrels, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The drop was higher than anticipated by analysts.

Senate Committees Tackle Tough Issues

October 1, 2016

September saw a number of committee hearings in Austin, as legislators put in the final work on interim charges prior to the 85th Legislative Session which begins in January.

Greater Helotes Little League Softball World Series Champions

September 1, 2016

Senate District 19 was represented well this summer by the Greater Helotes Girls Little League softball team which qualified for the Little League Softball World Series and came out victorious.

The Greater Helotes team defeated a Rowan, North Carolina team by the score of 5-1 in Land, Oregon to become 2016 champions.

On Saturday, Aug. 27th, Senator Uresti, staff, and the community honored the softball champions with a parade and block party in Helotes with the theme "Winners".

Public Utility Commission Ends Low-Income Discount Program

September 1, 2016

The “Lite-Up Texas” program, which provided utility rate discounts for low-income Texans who bought electricity from private providers, is being discontinued by the Public Utility Commission at the end of August.

The program was funded by the “System Benefit Fund” which was once paid for by a $0.65/MWh fee on most homeowners and business owners.  The fee was discontinued in 2013, and the remaining funds were used to continue to provide subsidies until this month, when they finally ran out.

Message from Carlos - September 2016

September 1, 2016

Last week I was proud to witness not only history, but the culmination of years of hard work in the legislature when Texas A&M San Antonio officially became a four-year institution, welcoming over 500 freshman students.

It was an honor and privilege to join the first freshman class in their new tradition, the Jaguar March, which is a one-mile march across campus, beginning at the bell tower. The march is one of many traditions that will originate from this year's freshman class, and aims to build school spirit and camaraderie. I may have been the only person in a suit; luckily it was a cool 95 degrees!

Before I joined the students in the march, I was honored with the "keys to the campus" along with the Universities’ first Community Award. 

Oil and Gas Update - September 2016

September 1, 2016

News on the energy front was mixed in August as crude oil prices appear to have stabilized above $40 a barrel despite a glut in worldwide inventories and sagging U.S. production.

Texas remains a bright spot as the number of drilling rigs at work in the state continued to climb in August, rising to 237 from 217 at the end of July, according to the Aug. 26 weekly report from the oil services company Baker Hughes. The U.S. saw the drilling rig numbers rise as well, climbing to 487 from 462 at the end of July. Texas' share of the U.S. count was 48 percent.

Department of Public Safety Requests Additional $320 million for Border Security

September 1, 2016

Last year, the Texas Legislature dedicated around $800 million of taxpayer money to support an increased law enforcement presence on the Texas-Mexico border. This included money to hire 250 additional state troopers, as well as new vehicles, technology, game wardens, as well as additional resources for prosecutors and local governments. The goal of this new spending was to combat drug smuggling, organized crime, and human trafficking on the Texas-Mexico border, with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) leading the main state-level enforcement role.

Billion Dollar Border Security Package Has Some Lawmakers Seeing Red

August 30, 2016

By Ryan Poppe, Texas Public Radio
Source: http://tpr.org/post/billion-dollar-border-security-package-has-some-lawm...

As part of the state’s ongoing border security operations, the Department of Public Safety plans to ask the legislature in 2017 for $1 billion. It is a budget request that has some South Texas lawmakers still asking if the state’s efforts are effective and where is the money being spent?

The package calls for $200-million more than what the legislature budgeted in 2015, making their 2017 request the largest amount of money ever to be requested for the state’s ongoing efforts to secure the Texas-Mexico border.

Legislative Budget Board Receives Update from State Comptroller

August 1, 2016

On Monday July 25th, Comptroller Glenn Hegar updated the Legislative Budget Board on Texas’ current financial and economic conditions.

While the downturn in the oil and gas industry is having a measurable effect on Texas’ economy, there are still bright spots throughout our economy. Unlike neighboring energy-dependent states, Texas diversified economy has weathered the downturn.

Unemployment rates have risen slightly since late spring, yet Texas’ unemployment rate is still lower than the nation as a whole. The housing market continues to climb in new homes built, sales price, and existing home sales compared to similar data collected last year.

Back to School Fair this Saturday, August 6th in San Antonio

August 1, 2016

As in years past, Senator Carlos Uresti, the San Antonio Food Bank, and dozens of community organizations are working with a few generous sponsors to help our children prepare for the important school year that lies ahead.

Senator Uresti participates in Back to School Fairs in communities across Senate District 19. All-in-all, almost 10,000 backpacks with school supplies will be distributed at these events, in addition to providing working families with important information about local community services.

The largest of the events is the San Antonio Back to School Fair, which draws thousands annually. 

What:   San Antonio District 19 Back to School Fair

When:  Saturday, August 6th, from 9am to 1pm