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Senate Finance Committee Meets for Emergency CPS Hearing

November 1, 2016

Following a staggering increase in the number of children who are considered to be in immediate danger of physical or sexual abuse who are not being contacted by Child Protective Services in a timely manner due to high caseloads and unbearable turnover, Senator Uresti called for a special session of the legislature to tackle the issue. In response, the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and the Speaker of the House called for DFPS Executive Director Hank Whitman to develop a plan to ensure all reports of abuse are investigated timely in accordance with state law.

Save the Date! 20th Annual Holiday Party and Toy Drive

November 1, 2016

It seems that every year the holidays begin earlier and earlier, to the point where we often hear Christmas music before Thanksgiving. While we are all preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving, Senator Santa has begun his preparations for another swing through Senate District 19.

Each year I have the opportunity to bring together community leaders and the incredibly generous constituents of SD19 to host a large toy drive in San Antonio. With the toys collected my staff and I dress up in costume to carry out the duties of “Senator Santa” and distribute toys to less fortunate children across SD19.  This is the number one most rewarding duty I perform as Senator.

Tempers Flare As Lawmakers Work To Fix Child Welfare System

October 27, 2016

By Ryan Poppe, Texas Public Radio
Source: http://tpr.org/post/tempers-flare-lawmakers-work-fix-child-welfare-syste...

In the past two years, 171 Texas children have died from abuse and neglect while in the state’s care. And tempers flared Wednesday as state lawmakers discussed how to fix Texas’ broken child care system.

The tone of the Senate Finance Committee review of Child Protective Services started tense and stayed that way for most of Wednesday’s hearing at the state capitol.

CPS asks for more caseworkers, saying hundreds of kids in danger haven’t been seen

October 26, 2016

By Michael Locklear, News 4 San Antonio
Source: http://news4sanantonio.com/news/lottery/cps-asks-for-more-caseworkers-sa...

SAN ANTONIO – Texas Child Protective Services is asking for emergency funding to hire hundreds of additional caseworkers to deal with a serious backlog.

Numbers presented Wednesday to the Senate Committee on Finance showed more than 2,800 children suspected of being abused or neglected have not even seen a caseworker, and 511 of those are children younger than six believed to be at the highest risk of bodily harm or death.

Concerned Parents Want State to Delay Healthcare Program

October 17, 2016

By Erin Nichols, News 4 San Antonio
Source: http://news4sanantonio.com/news/local/concerned-parents-want-state-to-de...

SAN ANTONIO -- On November 1, thousands of special needs kids across Texas will transition from Medicaid to a new healthcare program called Star Kids.

Although state officials say the program is designed to help families and kids get better care, some parents are urging lawmakers to hold off on the change.

Out of the 180,000 kids switching to Star Kids, the group of concerned parents represents about 11%.

Get Out and Vote in 2016!

October 4, 2016

Government at all levels functions best when citizens participate, and the most basic and important way to participate in our democracy is by voting. If you have watched television, tuned in on the radio, or opened a newspaper in the past 30 days, you are most likely aware that an election is fast approaching. What you may not be aware of is that there are many deadlines leading up to Election Day that may be of importance to you. The Texas Secretary of State tracks these deadlines and I have included a few for your convenience:

 

Hunters Needed!

October 1, 2016

As deer hunting season approaches, I wanted to draw your attention to a charitable program that fights hunger and promotes environmental stewardship in Texas.  Hunters for the Hungry is a program that allows hunters to donate legally tagged and field-dressed white-tailed deer and mule deer to be processed and distributed to local hunger relief agencies. Since its inception, hunters, meat processors, and food banks working with Hunters for the Hungry have provided over nine million servings of venison to Texans in need.

Harlandale National Night Out

October 1, 2016

The National Association of Town Watch over the course of the year will be sponsoring National Night Outs (NNO) across the country. NNO is an event that brings awareness to neighborhoods about crime and drug prevention programs and seeks to unite the neighborhood through spirit, creating a long lasting partnership with the community police. There will be free food, drinks, games and student performances throughout the night.  This event will provide our community with an opportunity to enjoy a fun night out while showing that we are a community capable and ready to fight crime one step at a time.

Message from Carlos - October 2016

October 1, 2016

Fall is known for many things, including football, Halloween, and who could leave out—Pumpkin spice everything. This fall, I’m asking for your help to spread awareness of a different type of fall, and your effort could help to save lives.

Every year around 30,000 Americans will die from an unintentional fall, around the same number killed in fatal automobile accidents. To raise awareness, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) is leading the Fall Free Initiative, a national effort to raise awareness for fall-related injuries and deaths among older Americans.

Energy Update - October 2016

October 1, 2016

The number of drilling rigs at work in Texas continued to rise in September with a count of 246 compared to 237 near the end of August, according to the Sept. 23 weekly report from oil services firm Baker Hughes. Nationally, there were 511 rigs at work compared to 487 at the end of August.

The price of oil hovered around the $45 mark during September as the markets worried about the historically high level of inventories and whether members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will agree to pull back on production.

U.S. crude oil inventories in the week ending Sept. 16 fell by 6.2 million barrels but still amounted to 504.6 million barrels, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The drop was higher than anticipated by analysts.