Sonora Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet
Thursday, March 10th
6:30 pm

Sonora Civic Center
Sonora, TX

Uvalde Area Chamber of Commerce Crawfish & Casino Night
Friday, March 25th
Uvalde, TX

Twin Elm Spring Break Rodeo
March 11 & 18
8 pm

Twin Elm Guest Ranch
Bandera, TX

46th Annual Chamber Banquet & Nostalgic Dinner Theater
Thursday, March 24th
6 pm

Crockett County Civic Center
Ozona, TX

San Antonio District Office
Falcon International Bank
2530 SW Military Drive
Suite 103
San Antonio, Texas 78224
210.932.2568
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
830.758.0294
Fax 830.758.0402
Pecos District Office
312 S. Cedar Street
Suite 100
Pecos, Texas 79772
432.447.0270
Fax 432.447.0275
Capitol Office
P.O. Box 12068
Capitol Station
Austin, Texas 78711
512.463.0119
Fax 512.463.1017
March 2011 - Message from Carlos
The frigid spell that knocked many Texas power plants off line in late January is long gone, and the prospect now is for an early spring. The equinox falls on March 20 this year, but many Texans are enjoying spring-like weather right now.

That means it's time to get off the couch and get outside — to jog or walk, hike or bike, shoot a few baskets or shoot for par, anything that gets you up and out and keeps you moving.

And there's a lot more at stake here than getting an early start on your tan.

Exercise, along with a good diet, is becoming more and more important for all Texans as the state struggles with an epidemic of obesity and diabetes.

State Comptroller Susan Combs recently released a report — Gaining Costs, Losing Time: The Obesity Crisis in Texas — that paints a bleak picture of the current situation and bodes ill for the future. Some of the report's findings:
  • Obesity costs Texas businesses $9.5 billion annually, and that number could reach $32.5 billion per year by 2030.
  • Two-thirds of adult Texans, 66.7 percent, were overweight or obese in 2009, higher than the national rate of 63.2 percent.
  • Among Texas children aged 10 to 17, 20.4 percent are obese, compared to 16.4 percent of U.S. children.
  • Obese kids have an 80 percent chance of staying obese their entire lives.
Nationally, according to a Centers for Disease Control report released last month, almost 26 million Americans have diabetes, and another 79 million adults have pre-diabetes.

Could it get any worse? Unfortunately, yes.

A new analysis by the Center for Health Reform and Modernization estimates more than half of all Americans could have diabetes or pre-diabetes by 2020 if we don't make significant changes in our lifestyles and attitudes.

Treating that many people would consume about 10 percent of total healthcare spending by the end of the decade — almost $500 billion annually.

Obesity and diabetes are largely lifestyle diseases that can be treated — and better yet, prevented — with diet and exercise. That's why healthy choices are so important, especially to the Hispanic population of Senate District 19 that is particularly prone to diabetes.

Combs' report recommends that the Legislature increase physical education requirements in Texas middle and high schools. It also urges restaurants to list calories and nutrition content on menu items, and suggests that that farmer’s markets should accept the state's Lone Star card for the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables.

All those things will help, but parents have the biggest role to play in the fight against obesity and diabetes, by setting a good example at the dinner table and at the gym, golf course or jogging track. Now get up and get moving!

The comptroller's report is available at: http://www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt/obesitycost/

Semper Fi!

Senator Uresti's Latest Pictures

Click an image to see more images from February.

Sanctuary cities legislation a "bad idea"

The Senate will soon take up the last of Gov. Perry's emergency measures — the so-called sanctuary bill that seeks to punish Texas cities for impeding the enforcement of immigration laws.

Local law enforcement across the state already works with federal agents to identify undocumented immigrants who are in custody for alleged violations of state law. It's part of their job. So what is the real purpose of this bill?

Some of my colleagues in the Legislature want to saddle our police and sheriffs with the enforcement of federal immigration laws. That not only raises the specter of discrimination against citizens of Hispanic descent and legal immigrants, it would also distract law enforcement from its primary mission — protecting the public from crime.

If this new burden is going to fall on Texas police and sheriff's departments, how do they feel about it?

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus called this legislation "a bad, bad idea."

In fact, law enforcement officials across Texas object to the bill, including El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, and McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez.

The Major Cities Chiefs Police Association and the Texas Border Sheriff's Coalition also oppose the bill. In a resolution, the coalition stated that a sanctuary city law would encumber state and local peace officers.

Police and sheriffs know better than anyone just how much of an imposition this law would be. Let's listen to them and leave immigration enforcement to the federal government, where it belongs, and allow our frontline officers to focus on their jobs in our neighborhoods and streets.

Senate passes eminent domain bill

The Texas Senate passed an eminent domain bill that will provide strong new protections for Texas property owners.

Senate Bill 18 would prohibit the government or a private entity from taking property if it is not for public use and give property owners more rights regarding easements across their land. And for the first time in Texas, it would allow property to be repurchased if a project doesn't show any progress in 10 years.

Sen. Uresti was a co-author of the bill, which was sent to the House on a unanimous vote.

Federal money available for green energy projects in rural areas

Numerous Texas farmers, ranchers and rural small business owners are eligible for federal monies that pay for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

The Rural Energy for America Program, part of the 2008 Farm Bill, provides grants and guaranteed loans for projects like retrofitting lighting or insulation and replacing equipment with more efficient units. Any project that produces energy from an alternative source — wind, solar, biomass, geothermal — is also eligible.

Grants for renewable energy projects range from $2,500 to $500,000 while energy efficiency projects can attract from $1,500 to $250,000 in grants. Loans span $5,000 to $25 million.

For details go to: www.rurdev.usda.gov/Energy.html

District 19 Attraction of the Month - Big Bend National Park reinstates temporary closures for peregrine falcons

It's been 12 years since the peregrine falcon was removed from the federal endangered species list, but the bird is not thriving so well in Texas. Across the state, there are less than a dozen known nesting pairs, and the falcon remains on the state’s endangered list.

According to the National Park Service, peregrine populations must continue to be monitored and protected, regardless of federal or state classification. In keeping with this mandate, Big Bend National Park has temporarily closed or placed restrictions on the use of certain park lands. The areas closed to public entry from Feb. 1 through May 31 are:
  • The Southeast Rim Trail and a portion of the Northeast Rim Trail from the Boot; Canyon/Southeast Rim junction to a point just north of Campsite NE-4;
  • All Southeast Rim campsites as well as Northeast campsites 4 and 5.
Technical rock climbing on rock faces within ¼ mile of known peregrine aviaries, as posted, will not be allowed between Feb. 1 and July 15.

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
www.carlosuresti.com