El Paso-centric info and commentary from the Center of North America

Archive for May 12th, 2009

NPT Capitol: Plan B, stalled numbers; gambling bill looks dead

The Tigua’s chances of opening Speaking Rock Casino look to have reached the last stage of a slow death today.

Licensing Chair Ed Kuempel told members of the press before lunch that he was still 6ish votes short and that he had filed a resolution the Lieutenant Gov and House Speaker set up, “a joint interim committee to study the gaming industry in Texas and its potential direct and indirect economic impact…” [link]

That sounds to methe death knell for Tiguas re-opening Speaking Rock any time soon. Not because of the interim committee resolution smells like “Plan B” – because the numbers aren’t moving.

Six votes short means the bill still has gone from being supported by 88ish to 94ish since being reported out of committee. It needs 100 to pass the House. It was passed out of committee on May 3rd. It needs to get on a Calendar by midnight Thursday meaning it has two days to find at least 6 votes and maybe as many as 10.

It took ten days to find the first six. Another fistful is a tall order in such a short amount of time. The bill doesn’t appear to have the momentum it needs.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 12, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Chavez lays down the D strategy on Voter ID

NPT have been chatting with state Rep. Norma Chavez about the Democratic Strategy in for combating the Voter ID bill that passed out of House Committee this week.

The basic points:
1: Everything that doesn’t get done before Voter ID is dead in the water
2: Democrats should be able to hold up Voter ID until next week, if Calendars Chair Brian McCall honors routine parliamentary manoeuvrings of his Committee members
3: Democrats on Calendars have had to sacrifice a few bills along the way to get to this position

Chavez’s comments were in the context of what her game plan would be for HB 2301, the El Paso County ethics bill.

Read what Chavez said after the jump

–Ben Wright Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 12, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Moody, Chavez team up

News release from the office of state Rep. Norma Chavez, in which she praises her freshman colleague, state Rep. Joe Moody, as a “team player”:


Amendment would provide EPISD and other school districts additional funds to assist BRAC students

AUSTIN – Today, State Reps. Norma Chávez and Joe Moody passed an important amendment onto House Bill 3646 by State Rep. Scott Hochberg. This amendment provides an additional allotment for the children of soldiers who are active duty in a combat zone or are transferring to a school district during the school year as a result of BRAC. This amendment will address the need for additional counselors, accelerated learning programs and other specialized programs needed for these relocating students.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 12, 2009 at 12:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT: Swine flu, local and international

From the El Paso health department:

May 11, 2009 – Test results from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed another H1N1 Flu case in El Paso County. As of today, we have 20 confirmed H1N1 Flu cases. The most recent case involves a 5-year-old child from East El Paso County. The number of probable cases is now at 45. All individuals associated with confirmed and probable cases are doing fine. They have all recovered without any complications. The cases in El Paso have been mild comparable in severity to the seasonal flu.

Again, the City of El Paso Department of Public Health remains committed to safeguarding the health of our citizens by continuing a heightened level surveillance of the new virus.

Our citizens are encouraged to stay informed and continue with basic public health practices, such as washing their hands frequently, covering their coughs, and staying home if they are sick.

The public may call 2-1-1 or visit the and for more information about this new virus.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 12, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Perry appoints two from EP

For more info, check the governor’s appointments page:

Texas Board of Architectural Examiners

H. L. Bert Mijares Jr. of El Paso is president of Mijares Mora Architects. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Texas Society of Architects and El Paso Chapter AIA. He is also incoming chairman of the Paso Del Norte Health Foundation, current chairman of the Center Against Family Violence in El Paso and past chairman of the Texas Public Finance Authority. Mijares received a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University. He replaces Peter Pfeiffer of Austin.

Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners

Rene Pena of El Paso is president of Pena Briones McDaniel and Company. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, El Paso Pension Board of Trustees, and Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants Board of Directors. He is a past member of the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists and Texas Healthy Kids Corporation. Pena received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at El Paso. He replaces Manoranjan Mahadeva of The Woodlands.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 12, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized