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Texas Sales Tax Holiday is Aug. 9 to 11

July 10, 2013

(AUSTIN) — Texas Comptroller Susan Combs reminds shoppers they can save money on certain items priced under $100 during the state’s annual sales tax holiday. This year, the sales tax holiday is scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 9 -11.

The law exempts most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced under $100 from sales tax, which could save shoppers about $8 on every $100 they spend during the weekend.

“Texas families can take advantage of the sales tax holiday when doing their back-to-school shopping,” Combs said. “The tax holiday applies to a variety of items ranging from pens to jeans to help shoppers around Texas save some of their hard earned money.”

Sen. Carlos Uresti issued the following statement on Wednesday's DOMA ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court

June 26, 2013

 "By striking down DOMA, the high court affirmed the basic American concept that freedom for all isn't possible without equality. The nation will no doubt remain divided on the issue of homosexuality, but the high court ruled correctly that it cannot be the object of discrimination or the basis for denying fundamental human rights."

Sen. Carlos Uresti's statement on Supreme Court ruling in the Fisher case

June 24, 2013

"The high court sent this case back for review with what seems to be a clear directive. Affirmative action is a legitimate tool in college admissions if no other opportunities are made available to minority students," said Sen. Carlos Uresti, who chairs the Senate Hispanic Caucus. "The court obviously supports diversity and the fundamental concept that all students should have access to higher education."

Uresti, noting that African Americans made up 12.2% of the Texas population, but only 4.2% of the UT student body in 2011, said the court-ordered review "provides an opportunity to make sure that affirmative action can be part of the admissions equation."

Response to Governor Perry’s veto of HB 217

June 14, 2013

 According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Overweight and Obesity report 29.2% of all Texas youth under 18 have weight issues, with 15.6% being overweight and an additional 13.6% being obese. HB 217 was an attempt to ensure our children had responsible and health choices when selecting a drink at school. The bill was carefully crafted to apply only to elementary and middle school students and only during school hours. By the end of the year the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy guidelines will require schools to transition away from offering two percent milk. HB 217 was designed with this in mind. I'm disappointed that the Governor vetoed this bill. It was a wonderful opportunity to finally make progress dealing with this serious health issue.

Bills authored and sponsored by Sen. Uresti that passed both houses

May 31, 2013

Bills authored/sponsored by Sen. Uresti that passed both houses of the Legislature:

Senate Bill 1747 creates a $225 million Transportation Infrastructure Fund and allows counties in high-impact oil and gas producing regions to create County Energy Transportation Reinvestment Zones. By establishing such zones, counties can use increased revenues from county property and sales taxes to repair and maintain roads that are being battered by oil and production activities in shale regions.

House Bill 217 bans the sale of sugary drinks to students at public school campuses.

Sen. Uresti appointed vice chairman of Senate Redistricting Committee

May 27, 2013

 State Sen. Carlos Uresti on Monday was appointed by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst as vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting that will consider political boundaries in the 83rd Legislature's first called session.

Gov. Rick Perry issued a proclamation calling for the special session to begin at 6 p.m. Monday, just after the regular session adjourned sine die. Perry called on the Legislature to ratify and adopt the interim redistricting plans ordered by the federal court as the permanent plans for districts used to elect members of the Texas House and Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Sen. Uresti's county roads bill headed to the governor

May 27, 2013

 (AUSTIN) — The Texas House and Senate late Sunday passed and sent to the governor a bill by Sen. Carlos Uresti that will provide $225 million to help counties repair and maintain county roads damaged by oil and gas production activity.

After weeks of negotiations and a final round of talks late Saturday and into Sunday with Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, Gov. Perry, Speaker Straus, and Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams; Uresti, House Energy Resources Chairman Jim Keffer, and other conferees secured $225 million in general revenues to help fund SB 1747, which is desperately needed by counties in the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin regions.

Gavel falls on a great session for Sen. Uresti

May 27, 2013

 Sen. Carlos Uresti passed a total of 38 bills and resolutions in the 83rd legislative session that gaveled to a close on Monday, including the top priority of his legislative agenda — getting help for battered county roads.

Uresti accomplished a number of other primary goals, including measures on child protection, children's health, the environment, and government efficiency measures.

He also worked with his colleagues to secure more money for public education and mental health programs, reduce the number of tests that school students must pass to graduate, give students greater curriculum choices, and create a constitutionally dedicated fund for the State Water Plan with $2 billion from the rainy day fund.

Money found for Sen. Uresti's county roads bill

May 26, 2013

(AUSTIN) — With time running out on the legislative session, state Sen. Carlos Uresti and other conferees on Senate Bill 1747 have reached agreement on $225 million to help counties repair and maintain county roads damaged by oil and gas production activity.

After weeks of negotiations and a final round of talks late Saturday and into Sunday with Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, Gov. Perry, Speaker Straus, and Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams; Uresti, House Energy Resources Chairman Jim Keffer, and other conferees agreed on $225 million in general revenues to help fund the bill, which is desperately needed by counties in the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin regions.

Senate passes Uresti's county roads bill

April 23, 2013

AUSTIN — The Texas Senate on Tuesday passed a bill by Sen. Carlos Uresti that would provide some much-needed help for county roads that are being severely damaged by oil and gas production activity.

SB 1747, sent to the House on a vote of 30-1, would create County Energy Transportation Reinvestment Zones and establish criteria for counties to access funds for road maintenance and repair.

"Advancements in drilling technology have generated an unprecedented resurgence in oil and gas production, but it has come with a price," Uresti said. "Simply put, county roads weren't designed to handle the oil boom that Texas is enjoying."