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Condensed Analyses of Proposed Constitutional Amendments

July 27, 2011
November 8, 2011, Election
Prepared by the Staff
of the
Texas Legislative Council
Austin, Texas
Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, Joint Chair
Speaker Joe Straus, Joint Chair
Debbie Irvine, Executive Director
July 2011

Amendment No. 1 (S.J.R. 14)

Uresti Opposes Sanctuary Cities Bill In Special Session

June 13, 2011

Terry Gildea - Texas Public Radio

June 13, 2011 - The legislation, known as the Sanctuary Cities Bill, was designated an emergency item by Governor Perry. Those who oppose it say it unfairly profiles Hispanics.

Senator Uresti represents the largest district in the state, much of it along the Texas-Mexico border. He says a lot of folks are concerned how this would be enforced in their communities.

"So, I have constituents living in Eagle Pass, in Del Rio, in Presidio and El Paso. Sixty-five percent of the people in my district are Hispanic. So, a bill like this, the Sanctuary Cities Bill, not only affects those border cities, those border towns, but it affects large urban cities like San Antonio."

Concern Over Gaps in Seniors’ Safety Net

March 22, 2011

by Matt Largey

At the Texas Capitol Wednesday morning, the House Appropriations Committee will hold a public hearing on their version of the state budget bill.
Facing a budget hole of more than $20 billion, state lawmakers will be making deep cuts to services in the next biennium.  Money towards services for the elderly is among the cuts being proposed. But some say they’re worried about what such cuts mean for the safety of the state’s elderly.
The main concern of seniors’ advocates is about Medicaid reimbursements for nursing homes and at-home caregivers.  Under the current budget proposal, those rates would be cut by up to a third. Amanda Fredriksen is with the Texas chapter of AARP, a group that lobbies for people 50 and older.

Special Senate panel starts search for more revenue

March 22, 2011

By Peggy Fikac/Express-News
AUSTIN — Lawmakers' search for additional billions of dollars to help offset drastic state budget cuts kicked into gear Tuesday, as Texans again trooped through the Capitol and rallied on its steps to warn of the human and economic toll of proposed reductions.
“This is probably one of the more important things that we'll be doing this session if we intend to get out of this legislative session with a budget,” said Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, at the first meeting of a special Senate Finance subcommittee searching for $5 billion in untapped revenue.

Panel addresses domestic violence

February 21, 2011

By Craig Kapitan/Express-News

San Antonio has come a long way in addressing domestic violence over past decades, but a recent spate of fatalities here is alarming, a panel of activists and legislators agreed Friday.

Senator Uresti's Response to the State of the State Address

February 8, 2011


Sen. Carlos Uresti issued the following statement on Gov. Perry's State of the State Address:


"I share the governor's vision for a thriving Texas Century, but the policies he outlined today won't get us there. The depth and breadth of the cost-cutting he endorses will hobble our efforts to excel and compete.

"Texas cannot continue to be a state of unlimited opportunities when education, child protection and fundamental health services are looked upon as 'sacred cows' and 'senseless obstacles' to economic growth."

In West Texas, a Town's Fate Tied to Its School

February 7, 2011

By Morgan Smith, The Texas Tribune

MARATHON — If you close the school, you close the town.

The phrase has the burnish of a truism in this outpost amid the vast, high-desert expanse of far West Texas, about 50 miles north of Big Bend National Park. The 400 or so residents here are closely watching the fate of their tiny public school — and working hard to keep it open.

BexarMet's woes are still festering

August 20, 2010

Express-News Editorial Board -

Compared to the recent past, the Bexar Metropolitan Water District has had a relatively quiet period since legislation that would have given voters the chance to dissolve the district died on the House floor.

But that is a mighty low bar, and the favorable comparison doesn't mean all is well.
The utility remains deeply troubled. It is so troubled that members of an oversight committee are once again pondering the utility's future as another legislative session approaches.

The BexarMet board is again being accused of micromanaging. In May — after six months on the job — General Manager Victor Mercado told the Express-News that board members pressured him to hire and fire certain people.