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Texas Senate OKs budget, shifts almost $2 billion in school costs to local taxpayers

Budget woes in Texas caused by a prolonged oil slump would be patched with cuts to higher education, kicking the can down the road on growing Medicaid costs and rebuffing priorities of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott under an austere spending bill passed unanimously Tuesday by the state Senate.

The two-year budget would also shift nearly $2 billion in public education costs from the state to local taxpayers.

The Senate’s $218 billion document now goes to budget writers in the House for debate.

Texas’ finances are not as bleak as other energy states — Oklahoma is grappling with a roughly $870 million shortfall that could decimate core state services, and Kansas is considering big tax increases to offset serious budget problems.

But booming Texas is still belt-tightening in the wake of sagging energy prices. Budget observers put the state short as much as $6 billion to meet the current level of state services over the next two fiscal years.

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House committee considers bill raising smoking age from 18 to 21

By Forrest Milburn

A House committee considered legislation Tuesday that would raise the minimum smoking age in Texas from 18 to 21, the sixth such attempt in recent years.

House Bill 1908, filed by state Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, has the support of a bipartisan group of 16 House members. A companion bill in the Senate is co-authored by state Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, and state Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio.

If passed, Texas would join Hawaii and California in raising the smoking age, supporters said.

“I think we all know what the human costs are with tobacco — it is the No. 1 preventable cause of death in Texas and in the United States,” Zerwas said. “The tobacco companies target the kids, we know that. Increasing the legal age would counter the efforts of companies to target young adults at a critical time when many move from experimenting with tobacco to regular smoking.”

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Senator considers shrinking voucher bill to boost chances of passage

By Andrea Zelinski

AUSTIN — The lawmaker carrying the Senate’s “school choice” bill plans to narrow the scope of the measure in hopes of winning over rural legislators hesitant to vote for the bill that would allow Texas parents to use public money to pay private school costs.

Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, declined to detail how he would limit the so-called school voucher bill Tuesday, but sources said he likely will carve out an exemption for rural areas, which would provide cover to lawmakers who fear political repercussions from people working in their school districts, often the largest employers in their counties.

The exemption, as proposed in a document first reported by Quorum Report, was circulated in the halls of the Capitol Tuesday. The document outlined ways Taylor may try to amend his bill, including limiting eligibility to counties with populations of more than 50,000 people.

Other possible changes listed in the document include limiting eligibility to students who have attended public school in Texas the year before, reducing the amount of money the state would give parents, and shrinking the tax credit program for businesses to $25 million from $100 million.

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What happens to Boston and other sanctuary cities named on ICE’s detainer report?

Texas House Speaker Won’t Block Bathroom Bill Despite His Opposition (VIDEO)

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus says he doesn’t know if the Senate’s controversial bathroom bill will pass in the House. “That’s a good question.”

See Video Here

Why House Speaker Joe Straus Just Compared The Senate Finance Committee To Enron

The Texas Legislature’s two houses have about nine weeks to approve a balanced two-year budget. But disagreement over accounting “gimmickry” is dividing lawmakers in the House and Senate. The Senate finance committee approved a $107 billion budget, but House Speaker Joe Straus says that the senators relied on questionable accounting practices to avoid tapping into the state’s rainy day fund, a savings account funded mainly by oil and gas tax revenue.

“This is the Texas Legislature. We are not Enron and I am not interested in cooking the books just to avoid a vote on the rainy day fund,” Straus says. “Gimmickry is not going to get us out of here this time.”

Austin American-Statesman reporter Sean Collins Walsh says that the accounting “gimmicks” Straus referred to involve the way in which the Senate finance committee hoped to implement a new allocation of transportation funding.

In 2015 voters approved Proposition 7 which amended the state Constitution and is set to go into effect next year. The amendment dedicates up to $2.5 billion of state sales tax revenue to transportation funding.

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Houston Chronicle wants you to think Rick Perry attacked Texas A&M for electing a gay student government leader

He didn’t. He questioned why the guy who actually won the vote wasn’t allowed to take the job.

I’m torn about covering this at all because it’s so stupid. But that’s kind of why I have to. The media are forever looking for creative ways to make it appear conservatives simply hate . . . whoever. Minorities. Gays. Muslims. If they can twist or contort something that happens so as to advance the “conservatives hate everyone but white male Christians” narrative, they will do it. And they’ll take advantage of trivial news to accomplish that end.

This is all the more in play when we’re talking about a Trump cabinet member, so perhaps Energy Secretary Rick Perry should have expected he’d get this type of treatment from the Houston Chronicle when he weighed in on the strange doings at his alma mater, Texas A&M.

Here’s the background: The election for student government president came down to two candidates – Robert McIntosh and Bobby Brooks. Brooks is gay. McIntosh, who is not gay, got the most votes. According to the school’s constitution, the guy who gets the most votes wins. There’s no electoral college system or anything else of the sort.

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PRESS RELEASE — Cannliv and Vyripharm Biopharmaceuticals Announce $5MM Strategic Partnership

UPDATED: MAR 22, 2017

The Next Generation of CBD Therapy with the Integration of Precision Medicine

​​Cannliv, LLC (Cannliv) announces the formation of a contractual joint venture with Vyripharm Biopharmaceuticals, (Vyripharm) to provide medical cannabis to support Vyripharm’s research and development program dedicated to the treatment of epilepsy, once the State of Texas Compassionate Use Act (CUP) and Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT) state initiative rolls out in 2017. In addition to epilepsy, Vyripharm’s research and development program is focused on cancers, PTSD and general cognitive disorders at medical facilities across Texas.

This design of the joint venture will be to produce medical cannabis for the healthcare industry that is specific to each unique person and condition through diagnostic molecular imaging of the patient and developing a molecular profile of the plant (agriculture profile). By integrating Vyripharm’s personalized platforms, this innovative approach will require the patient to undergo imaging scans as the patient is being treated to hopefully follow the efficacy of the drug during and after treatment. If the imaging procedure performed while the patient is undergoing therapy reveals that the patient is not responding to the treatment, the attending physician can use this critical information to determine if the therapy should be discontinued and a different therapy selected for the patient.

“With our partnerships in the U.S. and International partners, Cannliv facilitates proven strains of Low Level THC Cannabis and brings these products to the medical industry in research, human trials, and patient treatment, resulting in integrated personalized medicine.”

JOHN DAVID CARRASCO, PRESIDENT & CEO

This partnership continues Cannliv’s mission to produce medical grade CBD products through the use of Vyripharm’s patented platforms for medical cannabis product certification and medical cannabis research and development. Through controlled testing of medical cannabis products at a Vyripharm Cannabis Processing Center, or CPC, scientists can perform cannabinoid profiling, microbiological testing, analytical testing, food testing, acidified food testing, liquid testing, and pathogen testing. This comprehensive testing platform should provide the standard for the medical cannabis industry in terms of quality control, quality assurance and patient safety.

Vyripharm will conduct its research and development using Cannliv’s medical cannabinoid products with their partnering medical institutions; UTMD Anderson, UTMB, Baylor College of Medicine and the VA Texas Healthcare System (in Houston,TX).   The first of which occurred in August 2016 at UTMD Anderson.

Vyripharm President, Jerry Bryant, had this to say about the partnership, “For decades, chemotherapy and external radiation have remained an integral part of cancer therapy planning even in light of the adverse collateral effects of such therapies, however, if we can integrate medical cannabinoids with these treatments, we may be able to reduce the side effects and provide a better quality of life for cancer patients and their families. We believe cannabinoids will play a vital future role in the physician’s treatment plan addressing cancer and other types of disease disorders.”

Cannliv President & CEO, John David Carrasco stated, “During the last year, our efforts to understand the emerging cannabinoid markets has poised Cannliv to offer a comprehensive solution to the State of Texas for medical cannabis.  With our partnerships in the U.S. and International partners, Cannliv facilitates proven strains of Low Level THC Cannabis and brings these products to the medical industry in research, human trials, and patient treatment, resulting in integrated personalized medicine.”

Vyripharm is focusing on theranostic medicine combining diagnostic molecular imaging with target specific therapy to provide a greater degree of precision in addressing the patient’s medical condition on a personal level. Healthcare providers and patients will be able to identify specific medical cannabis strains that react best to specific conditions, resulting in better treatment outcomes.

Cannliv’s first group of dispensaries will be located in Houston and Dallas, with additional locations across the state once qualified and Cannliv is awarded license.   Their complete CANNLIVE 1.0 Solution will be used to manage our Seed to Sale internal system for inventory tracking, accounting and registry integration as defined by the State of Texas.

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ABOUT CANNLIV, LLC
Cannliv is a Texas based biopharmaceutical manufacturer with its sole purpose to produce a natural, clean and user-friendly Cannabinoid products made with the purist ingredients for a truly consistent and reliable source of CBD.  Cannliv will be applying for the Compassionate Use Program licensing this month and will be announcing key partners resulting in proven treatment solutions for Texas.

ABOUT VYRIPHARM BIOPHARMACEUTICALS
Vyripharm is a biopharmaceutical firm focused on natural products, regulatory testing, pharmaceutical drug development of imaging agents, and drug delivery systems. The aim of Vyripharm is to improve clinical management through diagnosis and treatment with botanicals, synthetic pharmaceuticals, and drug delivery systems.

Press and Investor Inquiries:
Shannon Way
Phone: 512-939-3467
Toll Free:  844-923-7877
Email: shannon@cannliv.com

Source: Cannliv, LLC

RERoped — GLASS: We Don’t Need to Change the Constitution to Get Liberty Back

By Tom Glass

Texans know that the federal government is constantly violating the Constitution, and are looking for workable solution.

Sadly our governor, while acknowledging that the supreme law is being violated, has proposed two solutions unlikely to work — federal lawsuits and changing the Constitution.  Governor Abbott is currently focused on changing the supreme law (the Constitution) because it is being violated.

If you are wondering why the elites who have deliberately violated the current supreme law of our land would follow a changed Constitution, you are not alone.  Neither are you alone if you think that enforcement is the proper and workable solution to lawbreaking.  Everybody knows that enforcement is a prerequisite to change.

Even the Governor has begun to implicitly admit this.  He said in a February 14, 2017 appearance on the Glenn Beck show:

[T]here is a problem with the way [the Tenth Amendment] is written.  It doesn’t specifically say who gets to enforce the Tenth Amendment.  All we want to do is add a clause or a sentence that says “States have the power to enforce the Tenth Amendment.”

But this statement by the governor displays a fundamental misunderstanding of the powers of Texas in the structure of the Constitution and of the text of the Tenth Amendment.  And if it is already constitutional for a state to enforce the Constitution, it undercuts the entire argument for constitutional change.  Change to allow enforcement is not needed – only enforcement is.

The Tenth Amendment says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution . . . are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”  Since the power to enforce the Constitution is nowhere delegated to the federal government in the Constitution, states respectively (that is any individual state unilaterally) has that power.  Since the power to be the final arbiter of constitutional meaning is not delegated by the Constitution to the federal government, that power is reserved to Texas unilaterally (or to any other state that understands what it is to be and act like a sovereign.)

The root of our problem is that the Supreme Court long ago created the doctrine that it was the final arbiter of constitutional meaning.  The Constitution does not say that.  As a former law professor of mine used to say, “They were just making it up!”  But the governor has not realized that it is the notion of judicial supremacy that has to be rejected for us to restore our liberty.

Representative Cecil Bell has introduced the Texas Sovereignty Act (HB 2338) to enforce the Constitution.  Senator Brandon Creighton filed the companion SB 2015.  It creates a standing Texas legislative committee that will issue opinions declaring acts of the federal government unconstitutional, stating reasoning based on the text and structure of the Constitution and the intent of the framers instead of previous Supreme Court opinions.  Once the full legislature and the governor agree, Texas lawmen and prosecutors will use the Texas Official Oppression Act to arrest and prosecute federal agents who persist in the unconstitutional action.  That Official Oppression act makes it a crime for a public official to knowingly violate the rights of Texans.

Enforcement is the direct, immediate, and constitutional solution to the problem.  A convention to produce a changed Constitution is the Rube Goldberg solution that will take at least a decade for any step forward; that relies on non-Texans to get our liberty back; and, that could break down at many places along the way.  If you want a limited, constitutional government in Texas, support enforcement and the Texas Sovereignty Act.

Tom G Glass is the founder of the Texas Constitutional Enforcement group on Facebook.

Copyright©2017 Raging Elephants Radio LLC and Tom Glass

Senator Paul Bettencourt Says Sheriff Sally Hernandez Is Turning a Blind Eye on Immigration Problem

Friday on The Chad Hasty Show, Texas District 7 Senator Paul Bettencourt took a shot at Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez over her stance on sanctuary cities.

“The simple fact is, we’ve got a problem, we have to do something about it,” said Sen. Bettencourt, praising fellow senator Charles Perry’s work on a sanctuary city legislation. “We can’t have state and elected officials in the state like Sanctuary Sally [Hernandez] down here in Travis County turn a blind eye to releasing illegals that have felony convictions and then wonder what’s going to happen when they get back into general population.”

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