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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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July 27, 2011     Hays Free Press
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July 27, 2011
 

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WlL -+L4 J~l~mllm roll i +I. i L IJ III llJilllNliJl Hays Free Press July 27, 2011 NEWS Page 5A LRt. Gov. David Dewhurst, a epublican from Hous- on, last week announced his candidacy for the U.S. Sen- ate seat long held by retiring U.S. Sen. Kay Barley Hutchison of Dallas, whose term expires at the end of 2012. Dewhurst, who has served as lieutenant governor since 2003, joins a field of Repub- licans who have filed as can- didates who wish to succeed Hutchison, including former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz, Railroad Commission Chairman Elizabeth Ames Jones, former Railroad Com- mission Chairman Michael W'dliams, former Texas Secre- tary of State Roger Wliliams, and possibly more. On July 18, Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson became the first to announce his candidacy for lieutenant govemor in 2014. With Dewhurst leaving, Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Jackson, R-Pasadena, could step into the position when or if Dewhurst resigns, but Jackson is contemplating a run for a U.S. congressional seat. Meanwhile, though rumors of a presidential candidacy for Gov. Rick Perry continue, the big object on the horizon for the governor is a prayer meet- ing rifled "The Response" to be held in Houston on Aug. 6. Perry plans to participate in the event expected to draw thousands at Reliant Stadium, a multipurpose venue with a retractable roof and seating for 71,500 people. TEXAS JOINS STATES IN LEGAL BRIEF Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and officials from 20 other states on July 19 filed a friend of the court brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis, Mo. The brief, in the case of Kinder v. Geithner, supports a legal challenge filed by Mis- souri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and four other plaintiffs. Similar challenges have been filed in other U.S. circuit courts of appeals. According to the Texas At- torney General's Office, the amicus brief challenges the constitutionality of the federal health care law over the re- quirement that all Americans purchase health insurance as a condition of lawful resi- dence in the United States. "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is an extraordinary law that rests on unprecedented assertions of federal authority, pushing even the most expansive con- ceprion of the federal govern- ment's constitutional powers past the breaking point. "The federal government embraces a sweeping view of the Commerce Clause... that would imperil individual lib- erty, render Congress's other enumerated powers super- fluous, and allow Congress to usurp the general police power reserved to the States," the brief states. AG FILES REDISTRICTING PAPERS The Texas Attorney Gen- eral's Office on July 19 fried papers seeking preclearance for redistricting plans en- acted by the Texas Legislature recently. In receipt of those papers are the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and the U.S. Department of lusrice. Along with the plans are documents and data submit- ted in support of the assertion that the Texas Legislature's redistricting plan has satisfied requirements of the federal Voting Rights Act. ONLINE PRODUCTS TO DEBUT The Texas Education Agency last week announced educators soon will be able to select from 92 online products to supplement new or revised science Texas Essential Knowl- edge and Skills (TEKS). The State Board of Educa- tion approved materials on July 22, saying school districts may begin ordering this mate- rial as of Aug. 8 and, because the material is all electronic, it will be available for use when school opens. TEXAS ADDS JOBS IN JUNE The Texas Workforce Com- mission on July 22 reported Texas' total nonfarm employ- ment increased by 32,000 jobs in June. ffAL Texas' seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in June, up from 8.0 percent in May, the agency said. MANY ARRESTED IN HOLIDM EFFORT Texas Highway Patrol troop- ers arrested 1,406 intoxicated drivers during a statewide. July 4 holiday enforcement program that ran from June 27 through July 6, the Texas Department of Public Safety reported on July 18. SALES TAX HOLIDAY COMING UP The state's annual sales tax holiday is set for Aug. 19 - 21. On those days, shoppers will get a break from state and local sales taxes on purchases of clothing, footwear, back- packs and school supplies priced at less than $100. OIL, GAS TAXES BOLSTER EDUCATION , Texas Land Commissioner Patterson on July 18 pointed out that oil and gas explora- rion from West Texas' Per- manent School Fund lands "is earning the school kids of Texas more than ever in 2011." Private oil and gas com- panies pay for the right to explore on land owned by the state's Permanent School Fund, which helps pay for the state's share of K- 12 educa- tion. The companies bid for the right to look for oil and gas on 6,971 acres. Quarterly lease sale results bring the year's record total to $133.5 million. Ed Sterling works[or the Texas Press Association and [ollows the 12gislamre [or the association. edstefling(~exaspress.com leu.-'taA' e o. ,,,/ bl" ,t" LETTER TO THE EDITOR III II I RE: REDISTRICTING IN HAYS COUNTY The primary purpose of redistricring is representation- to make sure that the residents of Hays County have an equal voice in their government and that, when asked to choose their representa- tives at election time, each voter's choice carries equal weight. Growth in the eastern portion of Hays County since 2010 has been explosive, with growth in Precinct 2 far exceeding that of any other portion of the county. No commissioner, and certainly not one representing Precinct 2, can ignore the fact that major portions of Hays County, which had been primarily rural only a decade or go, are now far more d~nsely populated and urban than they once were. Consequently, their current and future needs will continue to have less and less in common with less- densely populated and more rural por- tions of the county than they did 10 and 20 years ago. The county's leadership must recognize and act on this fact. Redistricting, to underline a key point, is about making sure the playing field is level when it comes to representation; and with Hays County growing by 61 percent in the last 10 years, the playing field is anything but level for residents of Precinct 2 who, on a per-capita basis, are now significantly underrepresented in Commissioners Court when compared to residents of Precincts 1, 3, and 4. This is not to say that some of the pol- icy issues raised by Commissioner Mark Jones (in last week's guest column) are not valid subjects for specific public policy discussions today or in the future. For example, the need for particular road projects- and how they should be developed and managed- is an appro- priate subject of discussion between our public officials and the people they have been elected to serve. Mr. Jones' column suggests, however, that somehow the priorities of the county redistricting process should be viewed as nothing more than a vote of confidence in his approach to road projects. But that's a subject for a future primary and general election. Not for the current redistricting process. To quote Mr. Jones, "No redistricting proposal can make everyone happy, especially after a decade of major popu- lation change." No truer words spoken. It's definitely time for Mr. Jones - and all county commissioners- to recognize that Hays County cannot stand still and it must change to meet the changing needs of its people. And acting"for the convenience of the people," as the Texas Constitution mandates, may mean that no redistricting proposal can make every commissioner happy. Ion Leonard San Marcos iiii!ii+i:ii:iii+:iii: iiii:!iii+ +++++ +::+, +ii+i+i+ii!!:i!+i!iiiii FARMER Debbie Thames Insurance Agency AUTO HOME Ln~ BOAT HEALTH 251 N. FM 1626 #2C Buda, TX 78610 Office: (512) 312-1917 Fax: 312-0688 K~mil: dvthame~@ austin.rr .corn Monday-Friday, 9am-Spin Your Bwiness & Referrals Are Appreciated SM Excludes Ctn~ Celebrity , VIP Gold and V1P seats, NO double discounts. Facility fee and convenience charges may apply. FRANK ERWIN CENTER Buy tictkets at Ringling.com, TexasBoxOffice.com, Texas Box Office outlets including select H-E-B stores or call 1-800-982-2386 Regular Ticket Prices: $15 $25 $35 VIP $60 VIP Gold, $80 Circus Celebrily Facilily fee and convmkmce ~ may appty+ Umlted Clrcu Ce~, VIp Gold and ~p ~ available, Call ~- Oo o~tne for details. Sot~be to Be the First to i~ ~ ~,~. + +