Archive for February 27th, 2009
Press release from the office of state Rep. Marisa Marquez. The resolution was co-authored by three other El Paso House members. El Paso has five total House members. Former state Rep. Paul Moreno was not there.
Follow the jump to see the news release.
Not the most Earth-shaking info, but here’s a little game of dots. You feel free to connect them. We’re just laying them out.
County Judge Anthony Cobos is selling a home he has in Sunset Heights. The Realtor for the property is Brian Burds, a candidate running against city Rep. Melina Castro for the District 4 seat. The ‘for sale’ sign is from County Commissioner Dan Haggerty’s Century 21. While District 3 candidate and former city Rep. Alexandro Lozano says he isn’t partners with Cobos on the home, he said he did help Cobos with some contracting issues involving the home.
It’s a beautiful place, by the way.
NPT: Universities warn Spring Breakers; UTEP, with friends in Juarez, reminds students and faculty to be cautious
An email from UTEP, focused on students and faculty who work with counterparts in Juarez. Further down, spring breakers are warned.
The following is a special campus UTEP announcement approved by the President’s Office
Subject: Mexico Travel, Message Sent: 2/26/2009 1:57:15 PM
A new travel alert for Mexico has been issued by the Department of State. Below please find President Natalicio’s October 15th memo on travel to Mexico along with the most recently issued travel alert.
TO: UTEP Faculty, Staff and Students
FROM: Diana Natalicio, President
SUBJECT: Mexico travel
The University of Texas at El Paso has enjoyed a long and multi-faceted set of relationships with institutions and individuals in Mexico, particularly in Ciudad Juárez and the State of Chihuahua. It has been enormously satisfying to see these relationships grow successfully in both breadth and depth during the past several years, as they have involved an increasing number of UTEP students, faculty and staff in a widening range of collaborative activities and programs. Such collaborations are consistent with UTEP’s mission and with the opportunities presented to us by our unique U.S.-Mexico border location, and we are confident that they will continue to grow and prosper in the years ahead.
Despite all of this good news, however, we must also recognize that current conditions in Mexico, and particularly in Ciudad Juárez, require us to take special precautions to ensure the safety and well being of UTEP students, faculty and staff members who participate in UTEP programs and activities in Mexico. As context, I attach for your information an advisory issued by the U.S. State Department and transmitted to us by U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Antonio Garza.
TXDOT looks set to hand El Paso a $75m portion of it’s own $1.5bn stimulus purse. Speaking to NPT earlier this week, state Rep Norma Chavez, D-El Paso, while welcoming these funds, was quick to point out the possibility of more…much more that could come the Sun city’s way.
“There is more to the stimulus billions than TXDoT funds. There are workforce dollars, human services dollars…(and so on),” said Chavez, who sits on the Appropriations Stimulus Subcommittee, which she claims will make most of the decisions on the monies that go to the state (above and in addition to TxDoT and MPO’s). Chavez spoke energetically about the subcommittee, and the Select Stimulus Committee headed by Jim Dunnum, D-Waco.
“When Chair Dunnum finishes with his hearings, he will make legislative recommendations to our committee…Their committee will make recommendations on legislative changes that need to be made, for example for workforce funds, we get $30m, but if we make some legislative tweaks we get $230m more,” said Chavez.
That’s just workforce funds. Over $500m could be pulled down if Texas changed its laws on unemployment benefit according to the Statesman. Also there could be a windfall of matching funds ($5 from the feds for every 2$ Texas puts up) available if the state expanded CHIP coverage to 300% of the federal poverty level (from it’s present level of 200%) Chavez, who sits on Appropriations, Calendars and now the Stimulus subcommittee, is in a good position to help maximize the federal funds available to El Paso through the expansion of state programs as well as one-time fund drops like the TXDOT money.
“I am appreciative of the opportunity to serve on this committee that will deal with billions of federal dollars to the states,” said Chavez
State Rep Joe Moody released his third minute from the Capitol audio spot this week. El Paso days, where members of the chamber of commerce, local elected officials and lobbyists came to Austin to meet with the powers-that-be.
“Many of your local leaders were in Austin to discuss the important issues facing our community…i believe that this time was well spent,” said Moody.
You can listen to the podcast here