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BexarMet backers want low turnout

November 6, 2011

By Colin McDonald

Early voting on whether to dissolve the Bexar Metropolitan Water District was dominated by the ratepayers who live on San Antonio's far North Side, where dissatisfaction with the utility runs high.

District 6, which includes Castle Hills, Stone Oak and the far West Side of Bexar County, has 25 percent of all the connections in BexarMet's system, but made up more than 50 percent of the total votes cast, according to the early election summary by Bexar County election officials.

That won't be welcome news to those who are against the dissolution of BexarMet and the merging of it with the San Antonio Water System.

District 6 is where BexarMet customers have experienced the most problems with water pressure and quality.

Take time to vote, honor veterans next week

November 1, 2011

By State Senator Carlos Uresti

Next week you will have two opportunities to make a difference in someone's life, perhaps even your own.

On Tuesday, Texas voters will decide the fate of 10 proposed constitutional amendments that touch on a wide range of issues. All of them are important, but four in particular deserve your attention and your vote on Election Day.

Proposition 1 follows up on an amendment approved four years ago granting a full property tax exemption to veterans who are 100 percent disabled from their military service. The exemption would be extended to the veteran's surviving spouse.

Supporting Proposition 1 is just the right thing to do.

Uresti honored by Texas Association of Counties

October 27, 2011

The Texas Association of Counties (TAC) recently named State Sen. Carlos Uresti a “Friend of County Government” for his work during the 82nd Legislative session.

According to the TAC, Uresti's leadership helped pass SB-1505, legislation correcting oil and gas property undervaluations.

The undervaluations caused a loss of revenue to local government and additional burdens on local homeowners and small businesses.

“Given the size and diversity of his senatorial district, Uresti understands the differences between Texas counties and knows that one size does not fit all,” said TAC Legislative Director Paul Sugg.

Uresti honored as “Friend of County Government”

October 20, 2011

SAN ANTONIO - The Texas Association of Counties (TAC) has named Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-District 19, as a "Friend of County Government" for his work during the 82nd Legislature.

The award was presented to Uresti at the Bexar County Commissioners Court meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 18.

Uresti's leadership helped pass SB 1505, legislation that corrects oil and gas property undervaluations. The undervaluations had caused a loss of revenue to local government and additional burdens on local homeowners and small businesses.

TAC said it also appreciates the senator's efforts to preserve local control for counties and their taxpayers.

Bexar Democrats celebrate paying off debt

October 20, 2011

Jubilant Democrats chanted “Paid in full!” on the courthouse steps Thursday before turning over $142,727.07 in checks to Bexar County officials, satisfying a 3-year-old election debt that went unpaid because of alleged embezzlement.

Repayment of the $278,000 original debt was stymied by intramural turmoil, but party leaders pressed for donations this year and capped the fund-raising drive at an Oct. 14 gala.

With a pile of recent donations in the bank, a ceremonial check for $138,227.07 was touted to the media by Democratic Chairwoman Choco Meza, symbolizing the cashier's check delivered to the district attorney's office, along with several small instruments for the remaining $4,500 owed.

Ratepayers asked to keep or dissolve BexarMet

October 20, 2011

By Marissa Villa

After years of turmoil, Bexar Metropolitan Water District ratepayers will have their say in whether or not to dissolve the utility.

The election, which will be held Nov. 8 — with early voting starting Monday — will determine whether BexarMet will become a part of the San Antonio Water System.

State Sen. Carlos Uresti and state Rep. José Menéndez, who wrote legislative bills that called for the election, say they are confident ratepayers will choose to dissolve the entity after years of board in-fighting, ratepayer complaints and federal indictments that plagued utility leaders.

Democrats pay off local party's debt

October 15, 2011

By Brian Chasnoff
San Antonio Express News

With five major donations, local Democrats paid off a long-festering debt Friday night and put the Bexar County Democratic Party back in the black.

Democratic Chairwoman Choco Meza touted the payoff as a turning point for a party that has reeled for years in the turmoil of an embezzlement scandal and a leadership feud made even more destabilizing by the tsunami of Republican victories in 2010.

“This situation has become the rallying force for the party,” Meza said. “We have gone from an almost political flat line to a trajectory that is moving very fast, because in this county there is a strong Democratic base.”

Uresti presented with ‘Legislator of the Year Award'

October 13, 2011

State Sen. Carlos Uresti was recently named the Senate's Legislator of the Year by the Child Protection Roundtable for his leadership role on children's issues in the 82nd Texas Legislature.

“Sen. Carlos Uresti has been fighting for Texas children over the course of his entire legislative career,” Scott McCown, executive director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, said in presenting the award. “He has taken on the epidemic of child maltreatment.”

McCown added that Uresti is a legislative leader in finding solutions, including his creation of the local and statewide Blue Ribbon Task Force.

Texas Taxpayer & Student Fairness Coalition Files School Finance Lawsuit

October 11, 2011

(AUSTIN, TX) - A coalition representing public school districts, taxpayers and parents formally filed a lawsuit against the state in Travis County district court last night. In its suit, the Texas Taxpayer & Student Fairness Coalition claims the state’s public school finance system is unconstitutional because it doesn’t treat Texas taxpayers and school children fairly.

Condensed Analyses of Proposed Constitutional Amendments

July 27, 2011
November 8, 2011, Election
Prepared by the Staff
of the
Texas Legislative Council
Austin, Texas
Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, Joint Chair
Speaker Joe Straus, Joint Chair
Debbie Irvine, Executive Director
July 2011

Amendment No. 1 (S.J.R. 14)