New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 4, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 4 — H era lo - Zeitung — Wednesday, May 4, 2011
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New Braunfels Zeitung was founded 185?;
New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890 The two
papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German
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Editor and Publisher Managing Editor Circulation Director Business Manager
Doug Toney Autumn Phillips Jeff Fowler Rosie Willingham
Letters to the Editor
Vote ‘yes’ for police officer Civil Service
This month, your police officers are asking you to show them the same support that you showed us in 2006, when you voted yes for firefighters' Civil Service. For the past five years, we’ve enjoyed the benefits of a professional management system that covers hiring, promotion, discipline and grievances. Because our residents granted this to us, and because our citizens on the Civil Service Commission developed local rules that make sense for our community, we’ve been able to recruit and retain professional firefighters.
The Civil Service management system offers stability and an even playing field. It provides equality and fairness. The Civil Service management system is designed to be fair and stable no matter who is in charge—and it can get under way with zero tax increase.
Department leaders, city managers, and administrators usually have a much shorter tenure compared to the longevity of your line-level, public safety worker (three to five years versus two and three decades). At the end of the day, homeowners, residents, and line-level, public safety servants stay put, which creates the feeling of “knowing the community” and adds strength to the character of New Braunfels.
Our citizens made our community a great place to work for firefighters, we are asking you to please extend the Civil Service system to our brothers and sisters in blue by voting yes for police officer Civil Service.
John Weige President, New Braunfels Professional Fire Fighters Association
Laws limit freedom and taxes take money from those who own it
Mr. Rogers Williams objects to my statement at the Leadership New Braunfels Alumni Candidate forum that each law or tax is a limit on our inalienable rights to “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.”
I stand by my generalization: while there are rare laws that increase our freedom to exercise our rights, for the most part laws force or prevent specific actions and taxes always take money from those who own it.
As Mr. Williams pointed out, not all limits are illicit and not all laws or taxes infringe our rights. Those that achieve the clear purpose of preserving life and liberty by directly preventing or punishing harm against another person are ethical.
Although our society has determined that the best way to protect the innocent is with tax-supported law enforcement and court systems, taxpayers’ votes reflect our wishes as to the quality and quantity of these public goods. For instance, Comal County voters decided last year not to go into debt to build a new justice center due to the cost to the taxpayers. And yet, the front page of the April 29 edition of the Herald-Zeitung told us of a couple who have been told that it is a federal offense to defend themselves from attacks by “dive-bombing” hawks which have repeatedly attacked them in their own front yard. How’s that for a law that limits life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?
Beverly Nuckols New Braunfels
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Senate finds ways to shore state budget before moving ahead
AUSTIN - Big hills continue to rumble around the state Capitol with less than a month remaining until May 30, the last day of the regular 82nd session of the Texas legislature.
The full House and the Senate Finance Committee have passed versions of the state budget, but last week there was not enough collective will in the Senate to bring the matter up for lloor debate: too much disagreement on the particulars. We’ll have to wait a little longer to see a state budget both houses consider fit for delivery to the governor.
In their current forms, the House version cuts spending by $23 billion while the Senate Finance Committee’s version, which pulls $3 billion from the state’s Rainy Day Fund, cuts $17 billion,
Meanwhile, the Senate approved SB 1811 by Robert Duncan, R-Lub-bock, to pump $4 billion in non-tax revenue into the 2012-2013 state budget. Duncan’s bill would make use of accounting strategies, such as moving the state’s final payment of the fiscal year to the Permanent School Fund (more than $2 billion) from August into September, the first month of fiscal year 2011-2012. It
"Texas Capital Highlights" is written weekly by Ed Sterling, member services director of the Texas Press Association.
would also move up the collection of the state’s franchise tax a month ear-ly in 2013 to bring in about $800 million, the Senate Media Office reported.
Another key piece of budget legislation was passed by the Senate: SB 23 by Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound. Nelson’s bill would save about a half billion dollars in health care costs over the next biennium by moving Medicaid prescriptions into managed care and increasing managed care for Medicaid patients in South Texas.
TxDOT bill returns to Senate
In the raft of “sunset” bills that determine the fate of state agencies, the House set aside its own version of the Texas Department of Transportation sunset bill, then took up the Senate version, SB 1420 by luan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, and passed it with 78 amendments.
The bill now goes back to the Senate to see if that body will concur in all those amendments. It probably won’t, and the bill, which shifts more road-building projects into private hands and allows the creation of more toll roads, will be assigned to a conference committee.
House passes redistricting bill
A big piece of legislation the House passed was HB150 by Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton - the redrawing of House district boundaries.
The bill is structured to help Republicans hold on to power for the next 10 years, even though 2010 U.S. Census data show most of the state’s 4 million population gain in the last decade was overwhelmingly Hispanic. Hispanic Texans do not vote as a bloc but history shows a majority favoring Democratic candidates.
House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, thanked Solomons, who chairs the body’s Redistricting Committee, and House members in general “for their commitment in passing a map that is fair, legal, and that reflects the demographic changes that our state has experienced over the past decade.”
Solomons, during House floor debate, told members who challenged his map, that he used current Census data to draw the lines and that the state constitution requires him to use that data as the basis for redrawing district boundaries. The federal voting rights law calls for districts to be compact and contiguous and do not disrupt communities of interest.
Gaming legislation hasn't moved
This session, like many previous sessions, bills have been filed to legalize casino and other forms of
United States immf Government
■ Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500
■ Kay Bailey Hutchison
Russell Senate Office Building Room 284
Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-5922 Fax: (202) 224-0776 Web: http://hutchison.senate.gov/ (Send e-mails through Web site.)
SAN ANTONIO OFFICE 145 Duncan Drive, Suite 120 San Antonio 78226 Telephone: (210) 340-2885 Fax: (210) 349-6753
■ John Cornyn
Russell Senate-Hart Room 517 Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-2934 Fax: (202) 228-2856 Web: http://cornyn.senate.gov/ (Send e-mails through Web site.)
221 West Sixth St., Suite 1530 Austin 78701
Telephone: (512) 469-6034 Fax: (512) 469-6020
SAN ANTONIO OFFICE:
600 Navarro, Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 224-7485 Fax: (210) 224-8569
■ Lamar Smith
Rayburn House Office
Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-4236 Fax: (202) 225-8628 Web address:
http://lamarsmith.house.gov/ (Send e-mails through Web site.)
SAN ANTONIO OFFICE:
1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 821-5024 Fax: (210) 821-5947
■ Henry Cuellar
1404 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-1640 Fax: (202) 225-1641 Web address: http://www.house.gov/cuellar
SAN ANTONIO OFFICE:
615 E. Houston St.
San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 271-2851 Fax: (210) 277-6671
HOW TO CONTACT
gambling. Perhaps the main arguments for passing gambling or “gaming” legislation are (1) to create new revenue streams at a time when state needs it; and (2) to create an in-state option for the thousands of Texans who travel to other states that offer legalized gambling venues.
But opposition among conservatives is strong and pro-gaming bills haven’t made much progress.
House passes state Web ad bill
HB 682 by Fred Brown, R-Bryan, would allow private companies to purchase advertising on the governor’s and state agencies’ Internet sites. The bill was passed by the House and will be considered by the Senate. It is unknown how much revenue Brown’s bill might generate.
More help on data compromise
State Comptroller Susan Combs, in an April 28 news release, offered free credit monitoring to current and former state employees whose personal data was inadvertently but publicly posted on her agency's Internet site for months.
Combs apologized, listed various actions her office is taking to help affected people, and said her campaign fund would be used to pay for identity restoration services furnished to people who apply for those services.
■ Rick Perry
State Capitol, Room 2S.1 P.O. Box 12428 Austin 78711
Telephone: (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512) 463-1849
■ Doug Miller
EXT E 1.216 P.O. Box 2910 Austin TX 78768-2910 Telephone: (512) 463-0325 Fax: (512)463-5896
■ Jeff Wentworth
1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 925 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 826-7800
WHILE IN AUSTIN: Telephone: 888-824-6984 E-mail address:
424 S. Castell Ave.
P.O. Box 311747,
New Braunfels, TX 78131-1747
■ Mayor Bruce Boyer bboyer @ nbtexas.org Telephone: Extension 4507
■ Dist. 1 Councilor Richard Zapata [email protected]
Telephone: Extension 4501
■ Dist. 2 Councilor Mark Goodner [email protected]
Telephone: Extension 4502
■ Dist. 3 Councilor Mike Ybarra [email protected]
Telephone: Extension 4503
■ Dist. 4 Councilor Sandy Nolte snolte @ nbtexas.org Telephone: Extension 4504
■ Dist. 6 Councilor Kathleen Krueger [email protected]
Telephone: Extension 4505
■ Dist. 6 Councilor Steven Digges [email protected]
Telephone: Exten si o n 4506
Comal County Commissioners' Court 199 Main Plaza New Braunfels,Tx 78130 (830) 221-1100
■ COUNTY JUDGE SHERMAN KRAUSE
Telephone: (830) 221-1105
■ PCT. 1 COMMISSIONER DONNA ECCLES0N [email protected]
Telephone: (830) 221-1101
■ PCT. 2 COMMISSIONER SCOn HAAG
Telephone: (830) 221-1102
■ PCT. 3 COMMISSIONER GREG PARKER [email protected]
Telephone: (830) 221-1103
; ■ PCT. 4 COMMISSIONER JAN KENNADY [email protected]
,us Telephone: (830) 221-1104