Fourth of July Celebration & Old Timers' Reunion
Saturday, July 2
Legion Hall & Terrell County Courthouse
Sanderson, TX

Cancer Sucks Memorial Golf Tournament
Saturday, July 2
Alpine Country Club
Alpine, TX

Independence Day
Monday, July 4

Summer Sizzler 5K Race
Thursday, July 7
Aquatic Center on Second Street
Eagle Pass, TX

Gypsum Dunes Night Walk
Saturday, July 16
5:00 pm

Gypsum Dunes Salt Flat Visitors' Center
Dell City, TX

Open Weekend at the Davis Mountains Preserve
July 22-24

National Day of the Cowboy
Monday, July 25
Frontier Times Museum
Bandera, TX

Butterfield Wagon Festival
Saturday, July 30
Ward County Coliseum and Arena
Monahans, 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
July 2011 - Message from Carlos
That uniquely American holiday — the Fourth of July — is here, and Americans have much to celebrate and be thankful for. Because of the drought, most Texans will have to put away the fireworks this year and rely more on all those other traditions — back yard cookouts, picnics in the park, perhaps a baseball game.

But whatever you do, take a moment to remember those who brought us this day and those who have kept its meaning alive. Independence Day gives us a special opportunity to acknowledge the great sacrifice made by our military men and women in the cause of liberty — a day to remember the fallen and thank our veterans and those who are still in service.

But just saying thanks is not enough. Veterans face a number of challenges, and this year the Legislature put aside partisan differences to address their needs and concerns.

For example, Senate Bill 966 authorizes school districts to issue high school diplomas to honorably discharged members of the military who did not graduate from high school because they served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and other more recent conflicts. As a Marine, the father of a Marine and the son of a Korean War veteran, I was delighted to sponsor this bill, which acknowledges that military duty disrupts everyday life and honors those who deferred their dreams to serve their country.

I also sponsored Senate Bill 201, which will eliminate confusion in an existing law that grants a full property tax exemption to 100 percent disabled veterans.

Approved by voters in 2007, this law was designed to relieve the property tax burden on veterans who can't work because of their service-related disabilities. However, some appraisal districts misinterpreted the law, allowing the exemption to stay with the homestead when the house is sold. The new law will ensure that the exemption stays with the veteran, as lawmakers intended.

All in all, the Legislature passed more than 40 veterans-related bills and resolutions. One of them still needs your approval.

Senate Joint Resolution 14 proposes a constitutional amendment authorizing a property tax exemption on the homestead of the surviving spouse of a totally disabled veteran or the principal residence of such a veteran's minor children.

When the time comes to vote on this issue in November, I hope you will join me in thanking the families of severely disabled veterans, for they, too, have served and sacrificed.

Semper Fi!

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Special Session Update

Lawmakers wrapped up the 30-day special session with a flurry of activity on school finance, government fiscal matters, Medicaid savings, windstorm insurance, and court administration.

But unfortunately, the Republican majority in the House and Senate passed up an opportunity to do more for public education. The school finance bill imposes funding formulas that reflect a misguided budget decision made back in the regular session — to cut education by some $4 billion.

To help school districts cope with the loss, the Legislature passed a bill giving administrators more flexibility over teacher contracts, working hours and other costs. For example, districts will be able to furlough teachers or impose pay cuts to avoid layoffs.

The full consequences of these budget cuts are yet to come. More teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, closed schools, altered bus schedules, and lower morale are headed our way.

Despite these looming problems, the leadership steadfastly refused any use of the rainy day fund, leaving more than $6 billion untouched.

The special session also saw the passage of a congressional redistricting bill that fails to recognize the explosive growth of the Hispanic population in Texas. Instead of creating two or three new minority-majority districts of the four new congressional seats that Texas will get, GOP map makers drew only one such district, and that was at the expense of a Democratic incumbent.

The Legislature rounded out the session with the passage of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association bill, without important consumer protections.

One bright spot in the special session was the death of sanctuary cities legislation, which would have allowed local law enforcement to inquire about the immigration status of people who have been detained. This Arizona-style anti-immigrant measure would have opened the door to racial profiling against all Latinos — immigrants and citizens alike — and it was roundly opposed by local sheriffs' and police departments that were charged with enforcing it.

"Latino citizens who faced racial profiling and discrimination under this bill can breathe a sigh of relief," Uresti said. "This bill would have done little to curb undocumented immigration, but it would have forced a sizeable portion of the Texas population to prove their citizenship, perhaps time and again, just because of the color of their skin."

USDA declares statewide drought declaration

The Department of Agriculture has designated Texas as a natural disaster area because of the ongoing drought, making farmers and ranchers eligible for low-interest emergency loans.

The disaster designation applies to 213 Texas' counties that are directly affected by the drought, the worst in decades, while the remaining 41 counties qualify for assistance because they are contiguous.

In announcing the designation, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the drought and wildfires have caused many Texas producers to lose their entire crop.

“President Obama and I want these farmers and ranchers to know that we will support them through the recovery process and help them once again become productive suppliers of food, fiber and fuel that keep America prospering," Vilsack said. "This designation will help provide that support.”

Sen. Uresti urged eligible farmers and ranchers in Senate District 19 to take advantage of the emergency loan program, which will be administered by the USDA's Farm Service Agency.

Farmers have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.

For additional information go to:

Uresti gets a look at Boeing's Dreamliner

Sen. Uresti joined Gov. Perry and members of the Bexar delegation at Port San Antonio for a tour of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner aircraft and the ceremonial signing of House Bill 3727.

The bill, sponsored in the Senate by Uresti, establishes an appraisal methodology for large aircraft that are in the state only temporarily while being assembled.

Uresti said that by adding certainty to the appraisal process, Boeing is likely to keep manufacturing jobs in San Antonio, and other aerospace companies could be encouraged to transfer or expand their operations here.

Uresti said the Boeing facility at Port San Antonio is a testament to American know-how and our technological leadership in the world. But he also sees the facility in terms of the South Side residents who earn a living wage there.

"This new law will keep jobs in San Antonio — jobs that allow South Side families to thrive," Uresti said. "Boeing already has a $200 million impact on the local economy, and now the partnership between San Antonio and Boeing will be even stronger."

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.

©2011 Carlos Uresti Campaign  •  A.M. Hernandez, Treasurer  •  P.O. Box 240431  •  San Antonio, Texas  •  78224