Archive for April, 2009

Senate Votes to Return A&I Name to A&M-Kingsville

April 27, 2009

The Texas Senate has voted to rename Texas A&M-Kingsville to Texas A&I University. The Senate passed SB 2376 by Sen. Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) to make the name change official. The bill now must be passed by the Texas House of Representatives, where Rep. Tara Rios Ybarra (D-South Padre Island).

Texas A&I University formerly had its own board as an independent institution, but joined the Texas A&M University System in the 1990s to take advantage of the benefits of affiliation with A&M. However, many alumni were unhappy with the name change to A&M-Kingsville which followed. The legislation would return the name to Texas A&I University. The institution would nonetheless still remain part of the A&M system.

The A&M and A&I names are historical anachronisms, and officially do not stand for anything. However, A&M originally denoted “agricultural and mechanical” and A&I denoted “agricultural and industrial.” Both were founded as predominately land-grant agricultural colleges, but since have evolved into full-fledged universities.

Lucio said that since his bill was filed, questions had been raised about the costs of changing the name. He said many alumni and donors had called offering to pay the costs themselves. He amended his bill to allow the university to take such donations to reduce the cost to the taxpayers.


House State Affairs Takes up Controversial Bills

April 21, 2009

After weeks of taking a bashing by some groups that the House State Affairs Committee was taking too long to bring up several important bills on immigration, abortion and other hot-button issues, the committee is taking all of them up at once.

The committee is currently debating several abortion-related bills, including legislation that would require abortion providers to offer ultrasound photos to their clients prior to undertaking an abortion. The committee is also considering legislation that would ban human cloning.

On immigration, the committee is looking at several proposals from both Republicans and Democrats, dealing both with cracking down on illegal immigrants themselves and on immigrant smugglers.

One of the bigger pieces of legislation is HCR 50, which re-affirms Texas’ sovereignty under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.

TRN will include a full report on the committee’s activities in tomorrow’s issue.

Rep. Veasey Passes Amendment Aiding Military Children

April 14, 2009

The Texas House of Representatives recently passed legislation to aid the children of military veterans. The House amended SB 297 – the higher education tuition reform bill – to include a provision that would waive tuition and fees for children of military personnel who are deployed overseas.

The amendment was sponsored by Fort Worth Democrat Mark Veasey.

“The purpose of this amendment is to honor the sacrifices made by our soldiers and their family members during times of war,” Veasey said. “Many of these soldiers have been deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan for years at a stretch, and the personal and economic costs to their families can be severe. This tuition exemption is a small way that we as a state can give back to these families who have given us so much.”

Over 150,000 Americans are presently deployed in the Iraq and Afghanistan warzone, including many thousands of men and women from Texas. The Veasey amendment will open doors of opportunity for the college-age children of those soldiers deployed from Texas by sharply reducing the cost of higher education – a particularly important benefit during this time of economic hardship.

“Time and again, we’ve asked these men and women to put their lives on the line. I’m glad to see such a strong majority of my fellow representatives join me to provide what help we can to these soldiers’ families,” said Rep. Veasey.

Time To Start Your Elk Ranch?

April 9, 2009

The Texas House of Representatives passed legislation this week declaring that an Elk is now “livestock. ” That’s right. No longer are the large, oversized deer-like herbivores simply wild critters, but now they’re boring farm animals like cows and sheep.

Rep. Sid Miller (R-Stephenville) successfully pushed through HB 375, which extends the status in law of livestock to Elk-kind. The bill now moves to the Texas Senate, where one can expect the Elk lobby to be out in force (just kidding).

The distinction, however, is not trivial. Elk farms have been subjected to losing their tax exemptions for agriculture because over-zealous tax collectors have pointed out that they do not qualify as livestock. Miller’s bill would give them protection against losing their agricultural tax exemptions.

Rep. Christian Bill Would Change Unemployment Insurance Rule, Save State Money

April 9, 2009

Rep. Wayne Christian (R-Center) has introduced legislation that would amend the Texas Labor Code relating to qualification for unemployment benefits. If enacted, the new law could result in an estimated savings of more than $82 million to the Texas Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund over a five-year period by clarifying and strengthening the definition of a claimant’s last employer.


HB 1348 removes a loophole by which employees who were fired for misconduct can still receive unemployment insurnance benefits.


Under current law, individuals who are discharged for misconduct, can avoid disqualification from Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits by accepting a brief temporary job, and then be laid off through no fault of their own from that most recent job. Benefits may then be received regardless of the nature of the claimant’s previous employment. The temporary work could be performed for a relative, neighbor or close friend of the claimant for as little as a day.


“House Bill 1348 will allow the Texas Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund to benefit the people who need it the most, those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.  In today’s turbulent economic times, it is imperative that we get aid to those who genuinely need it, not to individuals who are cheating the system,” Christian said.

Voter ID Rally Tuesday at Capitol

April 7, 2009

Voter ID supporters will meet on the South Steps of the Capitol tomorrow, April 7 at 11:30 a.m. to show their support for Voter ID legislation.  Speakers include Senator Troy Fraser, Representative Betty Brown, Representative Larry Taylor, Representative Patricia Harless and other voter ID supporters.

Immediately following the rally, the House Committee on Elections will hear public testimony in the John H. Reagan Building, room 120.

When:  Tomorrow, Tuesday, April 7; 11:30 a.m.

Where:  South Steps of the Capitol

April 6, 2009 Letters to the Editor

April 6, 2009
To Submit a Letter to the editor, send an email to Please include your name, hometown, and contact information in case we need to get a hold of you.


If we don’t do something about the voting in America, then our right and privilege is being is being compromised.
When an ACORN employee can use a park bench as a person’s residence, we have a real problem, and it is ours to come up with a solution.  Now, I am not saying is will not be a challenge, but it is very necessary and so far I haven’t been able to get anyone to listen.
There are already many government databases that allow states to access information about an individual.  To name a few, IRS, licenses, welfare, Unemployment Insurance, and the list goes on and on.  If the state could access information needed from these databases such as name, social security number, date of birth, death records, voter registration information and others as needed.  Then a voting database could be set up.  It would be set up where anytime the information in one database was updated, it would automatically be updated in the voting database.
Each voting area would have a laptop that has online access to this database.  When a person comes in to vote they would be looked up on this system and entered on the system.  If they had voted in another district, a red flag would come up and that person would have to be checked out before his vote would count.
The big challenge is, voting is a state thing so this would have to be approved across state lines.  The database would not only pull up Texas voters, but nationwide voters.  This would eliminate college students voting at home and college.  It would eliminate the park bench voters voting in multiple states.  It would prevent ACORN workers from signing up and voting in each district they solicit in.  It would definitely help to make the voting more legal and not water down our own voting rights.
The other thought would be for the voter registrations themselves to be put in a database that is nationwide, rather than only by voting districts.  The same result would happen, if that person had already voted in another precinct, district, or state, a red flag would appear and they would have to be checked out before their vote would count.  This nation is so innovative, it should be no problem to fix this huge issue.  The big thing is we would need to get all states involved an get them to agree to sign on to the voting database nationwide.
 Ruth Laudan


How to Save Texas Oodles of Cash


Well, we have a problem here.

It’s a LARGE problem, and growing every week.


Somebody is sending their kids to school and paying NO TAXES.

Somebody is using up all the “free” resources set up to help citizens below the poverty level, and pays NO TAXES

Someone is using Emergency Rooms for their doctor’s office, don’t pay the Bill and pay NO TAXES.


Can you guess who these thieving leeches are? Illegal aliens.

Here’s how to save a lot of money.

1. require that in order to continue their education at the cost of the Texas taxpayer, that each student have AT LEAST ONE PARENT WHO IS AN AMERICAN CITIZEN.

2. require anyone looking to receive any State (or Federal) Aid in the form of Medicaid, Food Stamps, etc. produce a US Birth Certificate, or an Alien Green Card.

3. Amend the Law requiring Emergency Rooms to treat ANYBODY to require proof of citizenship or an Alien Green Card.

4. Round up all illegals (during traffic stops, Home Depot Sweeps, etc) and bus them home across the Border. Then send Mexico the bill, or charge the State Dept who should remove that amount from all the AID we give them.

5. Charge HEFTY FINES for employers using Illegals, (then turn them over to ICE).

6. Charge a hefty Inspection fee for EVERY TRUCK ENTERING TEXAS THAT IS REGISTERED IN MEXICO. pass or fail, say $100.00 or more each, and CONFISCATE ANY WHICH DON’T PASS (Germany and Japan do this to their own people and so do some states) as well as any on the road without a .Sticker or one more than XX days old (maybe 10?). and auction it off along with the contents.

Then you won’t have to worry about Unemployment, because lots of jobs will open up. If small businesses are “hurt” by the increased costs of labor, well as Americans, they need to feel the “pinch” too and it’s more important to have TAX-PAYING CITIZENS WORKING than Illegals, who come here drop a baby and  not pay a cent for the medical bills or any Taxes.

There’s a GREAT START toward balancing the budget and opening up jobs and taking the burden off our schools and hospitals.

Those don’t like it, can drive south and we’ll wave at their taillights as they go.

Understand, I have nothing but respect for LEGAL ALIENS, they came through the System and obeyed the rules. The rest are not worth the earth they stand on.

While you’re ay it, force Oil and gas Drillers to be responsible for screw-ups like in and around Grandview where they poisoned the water table. And stop condemning people’s property to force a pipeline through, Here’s a frickin’ novel idea – GO AROUND! Geez!

And rescind that asinine rule of having a $250,000 cap on Malpractice. What Brain=Dead idiots voted that in and how much were they paid by the Insurance Companies?  I’ve asked my doctors and NONE OF THEM got a reduction in their premiums. Yet we don’t necessarily get the “cream of the Crop” of MD’s and DO’s here, and the PEOPLE (remember us, the fools who put YOU THERE?) are the big losers. Imagine a surgeon screwing up your kid, or niece or nephew. The kid becomes a quadriplegic or worse, has major functional brain damage. That kid’s medical bills alone would be over $250,000 in a few years, if not immediately. Did any of you THINK THIS THROUGH?

No, instead at the same time you passed another wing-dig of a Law about covering up lettering on a license plate. So, NONE of you ever drove behind a pick up truck with a step and tow bumper? The bottom of the license plate is obscured by the bumper plate!

Thomas P. Malatino
Granbury, Texas

Fair Tax Plan

 I was a big fan of Ron Paul and thought he was on the peoples side until I found out he was against the fair tax plan. How could anyone with common sense not agree that this is the fairest way for taxation for the American people. I hope he and all the politicians take a serious look at this plan and realise how good it is for the majority of Americans.

Leander Frey

Texas House Passes Journalist Shield Law

April 1, 2009

The Texas House of Representatives has passed a law designed to shield journalists from testifying in certain cases. The House passed HB 670 by Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer (D-San Antonio) by a 146-2 vote.

The shield law bill had failed in previous sessions because of concerns that it would protect criminals suspected of felonies. Rep. Harvey Hilderbran (R-Kerrville) questioned Martinez-Fischer on this point and the latter clarified that the point had been addressed through compromises with prosecutors.

The bill does not protect journalists who in the course of their work, uncover evidence of a felony or are protecting a source who the journalist knows or suspects committed a felony.