Reeves County Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet
Thursday, February 3rd
Reeves County Civic Center
Pecos, TX

Texas Crossroads Cowboy Gathering
February 3-6
Van Horn, TX

Uvalde Area Chamber of Commerce Banquet
Friday, February 11th
Uvalde, TX

Eagle Pass Library Foundation Wine Tasting and Silent Auction
Friday, February 25th
International Center for Trade
Eagle Pass, TX

Lone Star Barbeque Society West Texas Cook Off
February 25-26
Sonora, TX

San Antonio District Office
Falcon International Bank
2530 SW Military Drive
Suite 103
San Antonio, Texas 78224
Toll Free 1.800.459.0119
Fax 210.932.2572
Eagle Pass District Office
Maverick County Courthouse
501 Main Street
Suite 114
Eagle Pass, Texas 78852
Fax 830.758.0402
Pecos District Office
312 S. Cedar Street
Suite 100
Pecos, Texas 79772
Fax 432.447.0275
Capitol Office
P.O. Box 12068
Capitol Station
Austin, Texas 78711
Fax 512.463.1017
February 2011 - Message from Carlos...
If Punxsutawney Phil lived in Texas, he wouldn't need to bother peeking outside his burrow at all this year. Given the cold, hard facts that came to light in the first few weeks of the 82nd Legislature, we don't need Phil to tell us that winter will be around for a while.

The session did open on a positive note with the re-election of Rep. Joe Straus as Speaker of the House and the governor's inaugural festivities, but Comptroller Susan Comb's revenue estimate put a damper on the pomp and circumstance.

Combs estimates that lawmakers will have about $15 billion less to spend in the next two-year budget cycle. But when the cost of student growth and maintaining other current services are figured in, the actual deficit is more than $27 billion.

In the second week of the session, House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts released a baseline budget that shocked even those who were expecting the worst.

Money was slashed for public and higher education, border security, prisons, environmental protection, child abuse prevention, and for doctors, nursing homes, hospitals and other health care providers who receive Medicaid reimbursements.

The education cuts — which one expert said would abolish 100,000 teaching and other education jobs across the state — would put a tremendous strain on small towns in Senate District 19, where local schools are major employers and generate other economic activity. The bill would also shutter four junior colleges in Texas, including one in Odessa.

As the budget crisis unfolded, Gov. Perry unveiled the items he believes warrant emergency status and immediate attention — Voter ID, sanctuary cities, imminent domain, mandatory sonograms for pregnant women and a balanced budget resolution, for the U.S. Congress, but not schools, teachers, children, veterans or the elderly. Sadly, the Senate then rushed to take up the Voter ID bill, which will disenfranchise rural, elderly and minority voters.

I'm sure the people of Pennsylvania will give Phil a warm greeting this week, regardless of the prediction he makes. For the people of Texas, Groundhog Day came early this year, and we saw a long, cold shadow cast by the session's early developments. Let's not give up hope that for our school children, for abused and neglected kids, for the elderly and the disabled and for small businesses, spring will get here eventually.

Semper Fi!

Senator Uresti's Latest Pictures

Click an image to see more images from January.

BexarMet dissolution bill filed

Sen. Uresti filed SB 341, which would finally give BexarMet ratepayers a chance to decide if the troubled water utility should be abolished.

In a letter to members of the Bexar County delegation, Uresti explained the need for the bill and sought consensus among delegation members to ensure passage. The bill's primary sponsor in the House will be state Rep. Jose Menendez, D-San Antonio.

In calling for an election, Uresti cited a long history of problems at the water utility, including consumer complaints about bad service and mismanagement, particularly regarding its finances, record-keeping, a lowered bond rating and the recent firing of the general manager following his indictment on corruption charges in Detroit.

"The BexarMet board has been given one chance after another to prove that it can effectively manage this agency, but it has failed at almost every turn," Uresti said. "The time has come for the people to decide its future, but that won't happen unless the entire delegation works together."

Uresti also filed SB 271, which would make sweeping changes for the board should voters decided to keep the utility, including term limits, strict campaign contribution and reporting requirements, a standard of ethics, management training and continued oversight by the Legislature and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Luna Scholars on Board

Sen. Uresti, who chairs the Senate Hispanic Caucus, will have two Luna Scholars in his Capitol office for the 82nd Session. The program, named for the late Texas Senator Gregory Luna of San Antonio, gives students who are interested in government and public service a chance to get directly involved in the legislative process.

Elisabeth Crawford (far left), a native of Veracruz, Mexico, earned a Bachelor's degree in political science at Texas A&M University Kingsville and is pursuing a Master's degree in History and Politics. She has lived in Texas, Mexico and Michigan, where she established a non-profit organization, "Active for Life on Cancer," to educate young people about the disease and encourage prevention efforts.

As a Luna Scholar, Elisabeth will be shepherding several bills for Sen. Uresti while seeking to acquire a better understanding of how highly developed governmental systems function.

Roy Attwood (far right), raised in San Juan in the Rio Grande Valley, is the youngest of four children with two older brothers and a sister.

He obtained his Bachelor' degree in Political Science at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he worked as a staff assistant and caseworker for Rep. Ciro Rodriguez.

Roy’s passion and dedication towards public service derived from his volunteer work at St. Vincent De Paul homeless shelter, San Antonio Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, United Way, and the Special Olympics. He is pursuing a Master's degree in Public Administration at UTSA.

Billboard campaign puts focus on family violence

A powerful message raising the public's awareness about domestic abuse will be on display across San Antonio for the rest of the year.

Sen. Uresti, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus, Clear Channel Outdoor General Manager Luis de la Torre and advocates for the victims of family violence unveiled the electronic billboard campaign, which Uresti said, "will send the strong, clear message that hurting your kids or your spouse is wrong, and there will be consequences."

Partners in the Peace At Home Campaign include Uresti, founder of the Blue Ribbon Task Force; Clear Channel, the P.E.A.C.E. Initiative and the Texas Council on Family Violence. At various times on a rotating basis, 12 Clear Channel electronic billboards will show three slogans: “Family Violence – Don’t Pass it On,” “Hitting Mommy is Child Abuse,” and “We Take Family Violence Seriously,” along with the United Way's 211 help number and logos for the SAPD, the P.E.A.C.E. Initiative and the Blue Ribbon Task Force.

Take the no-texting pledge!

Sen. Uresti is sponsoring a statewide ban on texting while driving, but you don't have to wait for a law to be passed to be a smart driver. As this bill makes its way through the legislative process, you can take the no-texting pledge and encourage your family and friends to do the same. Just clink on this link:

District 19 Attraction of the Month - Parks and Wildlife makes decision on Devil's River

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has authorized the acquisition of nearly 18,000 acres of land in Val Verde County, including 10 miles of frontage along the pristine Devil’s River, by leveraging $4 million in public dollars with more than $10 million in private donations.

The Devils River Ranch, which adjoins the 67,000-acre Amistad National Recreation Area, has been appraised at more than $15.8 million, but the owner agreed to sell the property to TPWD for $13 million and donate several hundred thousand dollars worth of ranch equipment and furnishings to the state, according to the department.

“The Devil’s River Ranch is a stunning piece of property with incredible potential,” said Commissioner Dan Hughes. “This land is a treasure for all generations to come.”

The commission said it would take two-and-a-half years to complete the master plan for the operation of the two units of the Devils River State Natural Area. During that time, public access to the current Devils River SNA will remain open.

Click the links below to learn more about Senator Carlos Uresti and how the community has rewarded his hard work.

Awards and Recognitions    •    2010 Campaign Endorsements

Visit Senator Uresti's News page and Calendar
to keep up to date with Senate District 19.

©2008 Carlos Uresti Campaign  •  A.M. Hernandez, Treasurer  •  P.O. Box 240431  •  San Antonio, Texas  •  78224