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Fed decision on dunes sagebrush lizard strikes balance

June 15, 2012

By Senators Carlos Uresti and Kel Seliger

Washington got this one right. Without the need for restrictive regulations, the dunes sagebrush lizard is going to get along just fine. And so will the West Texas economy.

Thanks to the extensive stakeholder process and voluntary conservation efforts by landowners and oil and gas producers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided this past week that the dunes sagebrush lizard does not need to be listed under the Endangered Species Act.

SA children bearing brunt of cost cuts

June 3, 2012

Express-News Editorial

Bexar County has once again found itself at the top of an unfavorable ranking list.

This time it's for the dubious distinction of having the most confirmed cases of abused and neglected children in the state.

With 5,915 abuse and neglect cases reported last year, the statistics are higher than those of Houston, which recorded 5,493 and has a young population almost three times San Antonio's. Records also show the county has the highest number of repeat victims in the state.

Senator urges funding to be restored to prevent child abuse

May 23, 2012

By Eva Ruth Moravec, San Antonio Express News

The epidemic of child abuse and neglect in Bexar County is embarrassing and appalling, and state funding must be restored to properly prevent it, public officials said during a news conference Wednesday.

“We need to come together and protect these children,” Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, told about 50 people gathered at The Children's Shelter. “These places don't work for free.”

Texas Cuts Efforts To Prevent Child Abuse

May 21, 2012

By Jack Douglas, CBS 11 News Investigative Producer

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A CBS 11 News investigation has found that, despite a staggering number of child deaths and injuries due to abuse, the state of Texas last year took away more than $27 million from programs meant to prevent such abuse.

Foster Kids Abuse Case: “We Should Be Embarrassed”

May 16, 2012

By Jack Douglas Jr., CBS 11 News Investigative Producer

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – This is the story of three courageous children … from the moment they were born to the hopes and heartaches that followed.

It will likely leave you with the strong feeling that the state of Texas owes these children … and perhaps thousands of other kids … a big apology.

They are called this state’s “Forgotten Children” … thousands of them in foster care… hidden from the public as they are taken from abusive homes …and moved elsewhere … over and over again.

Senate voting study finds productive middle ground

May 4, 2012

By Sen. Carlos Uresti

Using a statistical analysis that I will not attempt to explain, Rice University political science Professor Mark Jones developed an ideological ranking of Texas state senators, based on our votes in last year’s legislative session.

His findings were no great surprise to me, largely reflecting my experiences on the Senate floor and the knowledge I’ve gained of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in working with them over the years.

Still, it was very interesting to see that in the stark reality of something called a “Bayesian estimation procedure,” I fell in the middle of the pack ideologically, along with Sen. Bob Deuell, a Republican from Greenville, among the 31 Senate members.

Senate hearing to learn more about lizard

April 30, 2012

By Lyxan Toledanes, Odessa American

As the decision on the dunes sagebrush lizard’s fate on the endangered species list looms closer, State Sen. Kel Seliger had a hearing at UTPB to learn more about the lizard and its potential listing.

The Texas Senate Natural Resources Subcommitee hearing at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin and featured a panel that included State Sens. Robert Duncan and Carlos Uresti and State Reps. Tryon Lewis and Jim Keffer.

Originally scheduled to be announced in December, the lizard’s status was postponed six months and will be announced on June 15.

Committee hearing takes close look at impact of sand dune lizard listing

April 30, 2012

By Mella McEwen, Midland Reporter-Telegram

ODESSA — State and local officials, along with industry experts, gathered Monday at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin to closely examine the impact an endangered listing for the dunes sagebrush lizard would have on the local economy.

Sen. Uresti joins Cat in the Hat at Kids Day at the Park

April 20, 2012

"When Saturday comes, and there's no need to spin it,
Get down to the park; don't waste a minute!
There's a Cat in a Hat and a man from the Senate,
Dancers and games and sun without limit.
Tell your parents, call all your friends,
Get started now if you must make amends.
There's just one rule and all kids must obey it;
You have to have fun; that's all there is to it!"

Join Sen. Carlos Uresti, the Cat in the Hat and other guests for a day of fun and educational activities at Kids Day at the Park.

An annual Child Abuse Prevention Month event, Kids Days at the Park is expected to attract some 10,000 children and their parents for a day of learning and fun.

Sen. Carlos Uresti reacts to governor's Texas Budget Compact

April 16, 2012

"The governor's budget compact will be a blueprint for disaster if Child Protective Services programs are shortchanged even more than they were in the current budget, which slashed prevention measures by 44 percent," said state Sen. Carlos Uresti, noting that there were 65,948 confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect in Texas last year, and that 231 kids died at the hands of the parents or other caregivers.

"The compact as written does not acknowledge the fact that we can be good stewards of taxpayer dollars without sacrificing the health and well-being of Texas' youngest and most vulnerable citizens," Uresti said.