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Outdated Sales Tax System Thwarts Texas Businesses

April 1, 2017

By Senator Carlos Uresti
As published in the Texas Tribune:

With a grim Texas budget outlook this legislative session, public universities, health care providers, and state highways could all see significant cuts. Already, a hiring freeze has been declared across state agencies whose budgets are facing cuts of over 4 percent. Finding more items to cut has become exceedingly difficult, and a tax increase is out of the question.

Bill Filing for the 85th Session Ends

April 1, 2017

The Legislature has passed the 60th day of the legislative session, which means bills that are not classified as emergency items can be heard and voted on by the Senate for the remainder of the session. Your definition of an emergency item may not be the same as your neighbor, but ultimately it's the Governor that has the final say on what is an emergency item. When an issue is important to your constituency, it’s always an emergency item, and I look forward to debating and voting on a number of important bills that have been filed to benefit our children, our families, and our state.

Message from Carlos - April 2017

April 1, 2017

In the past decade of the Texas Legislature, very few issues are as contentious as Vouchers. While they go by many names, such as tax credit scholarships and education savings accounts, to the average person a voucher is any route to use public dollars for a private school education.

Energy Update - April 2017

April 1, 2017

The number of drilling rigs at work in Texas rose to a count of 494, according to a March 24th report by Baker Hughes. Nationally, there were 809 rigs at work, up from 754 at this time last month. Overall, US crude production is rising gradually and currently stands at 9,147 million barrels/day. Meanwhile, the price of West Texas crude has decreased this month from $54.01/barrel to $49.51/barrel.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April 1, 2017

This month the halls of the State Capitol will be filled with passionate advocates for children as state lawmakers come together for Child Abuse Prevention Month. In Texas, child abuse is rampant – there were over 60,000 cases of abuse and over 222 child fatalities in 2016. 

In Bexar County, the Blue Ribbon Task Force, child abuse advocates, community leaders and elected officials kicked off Child Abuse Prevention month with a press conference on the courthouse steps, now an annual tradition. Community leaders spoke, and reaffirmed the communities collective resolve to continue to raise the awareness of child abuse and neglect.

Texas Water Development Board approves $200,000 to the City of Toyah (Reeves County) for water system improvements

March 29, 2017

AUSTIN – (March 29, 2017) – The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) today approved by resolution financial assistance in the amount of $200,000 in loan forgiveness from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to the City of Toyah (Reeves County). The City will use the assistance to finance the planning, design, and construction costs associated with water system improvements.

The City will use the assistance to make improvements at its water treatment plant. In addition, the City will evaluate the feasibility and cost effectiveness of replacing its current surface water supply with groundwater.

Press Conference: Sen. Uresti Pushes Legislation for Tougher Punishments of Child Abusers

March 10, 2017

Senator Uresti was joined by Senator Donna Campbell, Senator Jose Menendez, State Representative Barbara Gervin-Hawkins, State Representative Thomas Uresti, and Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood for a press conference at the Capitol in Austin to discuss legislation that will increase punishments for chronic abusers of children, the elderly, and the disabled.

You can watch the press conference by clicking here.

Senate Honors Texas Medal of Arts Recipients

March 1, 2017

The Texas Medal of the Arts Award, presented by the Texas Cultural Trust, recognizes exceptional artists, as well as art institutions and businesses whose generosity has fostered artistic opportunity. In order to be selected, artists must not only be extraordinarily talented but also have vision and tremendous dedication.

The Texas Medal of the Arts Award highlights the importance and continued relevance of the arts in Texas. Senator Uresti offered his congratulations on the Senate Floor to the 2017 recipients and the Cultural Trust with Senate Resolution 265. 

Session Watch: Emergency Items Hit the Senate Floor

March 1, 2017

As we complete the first month of the 85th Legislative Session, the Senate has passed several pieces of legislation relating to the Governor's emergency items. Bills that address those emergency items are the only bills that may be heard during the first 60 days of the legislative session.

This session, Governor Greg Abbot proclaimed 5 emergency items in his State of the State Address. A few items that were widely expected to be included, such as private school vouchers, were left off the list.  Items named include: banning “sanctuary cities”, overhauling Texas’ broken child welfare system, implementing ethics reform, and approving a resolution to support a convention of states to change the U.S. constitution.

Message from Carlos - March 2017

March 1, 2017

The Capitol has been a busy place, as my office has hosted leaders from Uvalde, Zavala, Kinney, and Maverick counties for county days. Each delegation provided me with meaningful insight on legislation that will directly impact their county. I appreciate our leaders for making the trip and sharing their legislative priorities, and I am eager to welcome more counties in the coming weeks.

Texas’ troubled Child Protective Services (CPS) and foster care systems are back at the forefront. This week, the Senate passed Senate Bill 11, a package of bipartisan reforms I am joint-authoring that would reform CPS in order to address the state’s systematic failure to protect vulnerable youth.