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Senate passes Uresti's online voter registration bill

April 23, 2013

AUSTIN — The state Senate on Tuesday passed a bill by Sen. Carlos Uresti that would allow online voter registration in Texas.

Senate Bill 315, sent to the House on a bipartisan vote of 22-9, would add voter registration to the increasing number of government services and functions available online, making it easier for Texans to participate in the political process.

"Voting is a fundamental right and a public duty in our democracy, yet many Texans don't participate in the electoral process," Uresti said. "Online voter registration will encourage more people to participate by making the registration process easier and more convenient."

Texas Legislative Medal of Honor applications wanted

April 15, 2013

Each session, the Texas Legislature is privileged to have the opportunity to honor a Texas hero of the United States military. Pursuant to Government Code 431.131, the Legislature may award the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor to a member of the state or federal military forces "who voluntarily performs a deed of personal bravery or self-sacrifice involving risk of life that is so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the person for gallantry and intrepidity above the person's comrades."

Uresti supports Senate budget but calls for more child protection funding

March 20, 2013

 AUSTIN — Sen. Carlos Uresti on Wednesday voted for the Senate's $195 billion spending plan for the 2014-15 biennium, but expressed disappointment that it did not provide more money for child abuse prevention.

Uresti noted that the bill gave an overall 11 percent increase to Child Protective Services to reduce caseloads and address the agency's high turnover rate, but the amount for prevention represents only 3.5 percent of the agency's entire budget.

"We can never get our arms around the problems at CPS and protect our children from harm if we don't start putting more money where our mouth is," Uresti said. "As we move forward we must look at putting more money into these programs."

Uresti co-sponsors resolution calling on Congress to enact immigration reform

February 13, 2013

 AUSTIN — State Sen. Carlos Uresti and other members of the Senate Democratic Caucus filed a Senate concurrent resolution Wednesday urging Congress to swiftly enact meaningful, comprehensive immigration reform.

SCR 15 notes that America is a nation of immigrants and that their story is woven into our social and cultural fabric. It states that we require an immigration system that "provides for public safety, national security, economic prosperity, and the well-being of all who live and work in the United States."

TSUS Provides $1.8 Million for Sul Ross Scholarships

February 13, 2013

 Sul Ross State University has announced the availability $75,000 in scholarships for area high school graduates and community college transfer students who are currently applying for the fall 2013 semester. The scholarships will be awarded at two levels.

Six students – one each from Alpine, Presidio, Marfa, Marathon, Fort Davis and Fort Stockton high schools who graduate in the top 25 percent of their class – will receive $3,000 scholarships.

Applicants will be submitted to the superintendents of each school district. The superintendent will select one student from his/her respective school to receive the $3,000 scholarship.

Rackspace Hosting Partners with Alamo Colleges for $2.5 Million Job-Training Grant

February 8, 2013

AUSTIN – Rackspace Hosting has partnered with Alamo Colleges to provide job training using a $2.5 million Skills Development Fund grant from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).
“This grant will provide training for skills that companies would have previously had to search for globally,” said state Sen. Carlos Uresti. “We are pleased that this partnership will result in good-paying jobs here in Texas.”

“This partnership is good for our families, good for our businesses, and good for San Antonio,” said state Sen. Donna Campbell. “Together, the State of Texas, Alamo Colleges, and Rackspace are creating 1,000 new jobs and providing workers with opportunities to develop the skills that will ensure Texas remains a leader in 21st Century technology.”

Act now to fix school finance system

February 4, 2013

 (AUSTIN) - State Sen. Carlos Uresti said Monday a judge's ruling that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional should spur the Legislature to enact reforms now and not wait on an appeal.

State District Judge John Dietz, ruling in the three-month long trial after both sides made their closing arguments, sided with plaintiffs in the case who argued that state money is inadequately and unfairly distributed to public schools.

The state is expected to appeal the ruling to the Texas Supreme Court, which Uresti said will merely delay the inevitable.

Uresti files bills to increase smoking age, ban sugary drinks from public schools

January 31, 2013

 AUSTIN — State Sen. Carlos Uresti filed health legislation on Thursday that would raise the legal smoking age in Texas to 21, ban the sale of sugary drinks at public schools, and stem the abuse of opioid drugs.

Uresti also filed bills that would allow voter registration on line, provide assistance to pregnant teenagers and teen mothers in danger of dropping out of school; and prevent corporations from skirting payment of the hotel/motel tax.

Senate Bill 313 would increase the legal age to purchase, possess, or consume tobacco products in Texas from 18 to 21 years of age.

Uresti files bill to create fund for county road repairs

January 30, 2013

 AUSTIN — County roads that have taken a beating from the shale oil boom in South and West Texas would be eligible for repair funds under legislation filed Wednesday by state Sen. Carlos Uresti.

Senate Bill 300 — the first bill filed by Uresti in the 83rd session because of its importance to the district — would create a road improvement fund comprised of oil and gas severance taxes and managed by the Texas Department of Transportation.

"The resurgence of oil and gas production in South Texas and the Permian Basin has created thousands of jobs and spurred the state and local economies," Uresti said. "But all this activity has taken a heavy toll on our roadways, and counties should not have to shoulder the burden of repair costs alone."

Sen. Uresti draws four-year term

January 23, 2013

 AUSTIN — Sen. Carlos Uresti got a four-year term on Wednesday when members of the Texas Senate drew lots for new terms required by redistricting changes.

"It was the luck of the draw, and I am delighted," Uresti said, attributing his good fortune to some visiting students from Real County who watched the drawing from the Senate Gallery. "In the political equivalent of a first-round bye, my term will extend until 2016. But I will continue to let the constituents of Senate District 19 know where I stand on the issues. Election or not, I will always be accountable to the voters."