RER News Plus

The dirty Texas gambling lobby

Image: Agendwise.com 

Texas could end up a junked-out gambling state if citizens don’t stand up and pay attention to Austin right now. Aggressive, transparent gambling expansion measures are embattled this session, but sneaky incremental efforts are on the move.

The first and most important thing to understand about Texas gambling expansion is that slot machines are the only relevant business model. Nothing else is worth the hassle.

However, gambling expanders are challenged by the fact that slot machines are the heroin of the gambling industry. Whenever Texans look slot machines straight in the face, learning what they do to …..read more here.

By Weston Hicks

University of Texas student government votes to remove Jefferson Davis statue from campus

The University of Texas student government passed a resolution Tuesday to remove a statue of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America, from a prominent space on the university campus.

The Davis statue sits on the university’s South Mall near the UT Tower, a statue of Confederate general Albert Sidney Johnston and a fountain named after George Washington Littlefield, a university regent who served under Johnston and owned slaves prior to the Civil War.

Read more here.

Joshua Fechter – Reporter | San Antonio Express-News

Texas House OKs $210B budget after 17 hour floor debate

(AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Rodolfo Gonzalez)

New Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to lower taxes in Texas and send hundreds more armed troopers to the Texas-Mexico border is within reach after Republicans muscled a $210 billion budget through the House early Wednesday.

A pre-dawn vote of 141-5 sent the spending blueprint to the Senate, where the biggest question might be whether the plan is far enough to the right for new Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a staunch tea party favorite.

Not that there isn’t plenty for Republicans to like.

Social conservatives cut $3 million out of programs to prevent HIV and sexual transmitted diseases and ….. read more here.

STATESMAN.COM

Anti-transparency House leadership

Photo: www.legalfutures.co.uk

This weekend it was reported that Speaker John Boehner, Joe Straus’s federal counterpart, is retaliating against opponents. The two have much in common, including their attempts to hide their own attacks on members of their own party.

In March Agendawise requested committee preference cards submitted by members of the Texas House to the Speaker’s office. Frank Battle, Straus’s attorney, informed us that the Speaker’s office had turned them over to the Texas Legislative Council (Lege Council).

Last week the Lege Council decided these documents should be withheld.

The Lege Council does not exists to be a silo for politically dangerous documents. The limited privilege they have to keep documents …… read more here.

By Daniel Greer

In Texas, State Leaders Attack Local Governments for Going Big on Regulations

Photo: www.huffingtonpost.com

They say everything is bigger in Texas. Some argue that the saying even applies to the state’s local governments.

Conservatives often contend that more decision making should be done at the local level, but what if local governments overreach their authority?

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, has been vocal about his opposition to what he characterizes as an overabundance of regulations implemented at the local level in his state.

During remarks at the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s 13th annual Policy Orientation in January, Abbott said that “the truth is, Texas is being California-ized with bag bans, fracking bans, tree-cutting bans…We are forming a patchwork quilt of bans and rules and regulations that are eroding the Texas Model.”

Read more here.

By Kate Scanlon

Citizens see Border Patrol Agents and volunteer group as heroes for safety

Photo courtesy of Texas Border Volunteers

Death, especially in the summer, is a common occurrence in Brooks County, Texas. Volunteers, citizens, and Border Patrol Agents reported over 300 illegal immigrant bodies found in 2014.

“If it weren’t for our Border Patrol and volunteers that help, our way of life and the ability to live safe near the border, would not be possible,” Eduardo Salinas said Monday, as his neighbors agreed. “We’ve lived here all of our lives so we know and see what is happening that others might get a glimpse of on the news. We know it’s not getting better.”

Salinas and other U.S. citizens near Falfurrias, Texas, as well as the Rio Grande Valley population in general see the Border Patrol as “our heroes to keep the drugs away from our children and the criminals from our schools. But they need more help.”

“We just don’t see things improving,” Salinas, who was the chosen leader from his community to speak with Examiner on March 23, 2015, stated. “We know they bring in new technology, drones and blimps and things, but the amount of people and the kinds of aliens that are crossing (into the United States) is not good.”

It’s getting worse,” Salinas observes. “Sure there are children and ………. read more here.

By Jack Dennis – San Antonio Headlines Examiner

 

One killed, several injured in Texas highway bridge collapse

Photo: Nick Delgado/KWTX

Rescue workers respond to a partial bridge collapse involving an 18-wheeler truck on interstate I-35 in Salado, Central Texas on March 26, 2016.

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – At least one person was killed and several others were injured when a truck hit a support beam on a highway bridge under construction above Interstate 35 in central Texas, causing a collapse that showered debris on vehicles, officials said.

The accident took place in Salado, about 50 miles (80 km) north of Austin, on the …… read more here.

Reporting by Jim Forsyth in San Antonio and Jon Herskovitz in Austin; Editing by Will Dunham, Susan Heavey and Sandra Maler

 

Hispanic activists organizing In support of tougher immigration laws

Photo: Pedro Rivera

Pedro Rivera is 53 years old, Hispanic, and a retired military man. He’s also part of a growing number of Hispanic Texans pushing for stronger immigration enforcement, including the passage of SB 185, which would stop cities from implementing policies banning local cops from asking immigration-related questions.

“I’m an American citizen and I believe in the rule of law,” Rivera said. “And being Hispanic, I should not be granted special privilege in avoiding the law. We need officers to have all the tools available to them to keep us safe. That includes asking the question, when you’re being detained for a crime or being arrested for an offense, ‘ are you here illegally? Are you a US citizen?’”

Rivera is working with Maria Espinoza, director of the Remembrance Project. Espinoza’s Houston-based organization works with families…. read more here!

 

By Alexander Supgul, KHOU Senior Digital Platforms Producer

RERoriginal: The Republic of Texas – Press Release

Friends (and I hope to address you as fellow Texians)
Attached please find our Press Release IV resulting from the raid of Feb. 14th on our Congressional Meeting.  This press release further explains what we, the government of the Republic of Texas are doing to lawfully restore the nationhood of this republic.  This can be difficult to comprehend if you are not fully up to speed on International Law, Treaties, and Covenants.
More importantly, you would also need to be cognizant of the authority these have over nations that have signed onto these binding contracts.  You also should be aware of the impact the unlawfully adopted 14th Amendment, our status as an occupied people, and martial law plays in nullifying the Constitution for the united States.
This will all help you understand where you stand if you are a US citizen (I am not), and why it is beneficial to be an American National and/or a Texian.  Please note that this press release and all press releases preceding this one and news article/blogs on the Feb. 14th raid are available on our website:

Video: Woman Hijacks Mic at ‘Texas Muslim Capitol Day’ Event, Decries ‘False Prophet Mohammad’

(Texas Tribune/YouTube)

The 11th annual Texas Muslim Capitol Day in Austin was interrupted on Thursday by an angry protester who grabbed the microphone and decried the “false prophet” Mohammad and the religion of Islam.

“The false prophet Muhammad!” the woman is heard screaming. “Islam will never dominate the United States and by the grace of God it will not dominate Texas.”

See the video and read more here…..

By Jason Howerton