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Archive for May 21st, 2009

Bad news from the big pink dome. Looks like two of our key bills to promote solar power this session, SB 545 (Fraser/Strama) and SB 541 (Watson/Farabee) are getting stuck in the gummy gears of the legislative process. These bills have both made it through committee and the Senate, but still need to be voted on by the House. Unfortunately, they may never make it that far due to the tremendous power of a little group called the House Committee on Calendars.

At this point, Calendars has an incredible amount of power over what bills will make it to become laws this session. There are now just ten days left before sine die, and hundreds of bills left waiting to go to the House floor. Calendars is like the legislative bouncer at this point, only letting certain skinny, sexy, well-dressed bills into the club.

SB 545 has yet to come out of Calendars, and SB 541 hasn’t even made it onto the list yet. If 541 isn’t at least on the list by tomorrow, it is dead. If 545 hasn’t made it from the list and into the club by Sunday, it’ll be the bill’s last chance to shine.

You think old Bill had it had it bad, at least he didn’t have a Calendars committee to hold him up.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouZTIqcvb30]

House Reps on the Calendars committee need to hear that these bills are necessary to jump-start Texas’ solar future. If one of the following members is YOUR representative, please give them a call today and tell them that you want these solar bills moved up the calendar and out to the dance House floor!!

Rep. Brian McCall (Chair) — (512) 463-0594

Rep. Eddie Lucio III (Vice Chair) — (512) 463-0606

Rep. Norma Chavez — (512) 463-0622

Rep. Garnet Coleman — (512) 463-0524

Rep. Byron Cook — (512) 463-0730

Rep. Brandon Creighton — (512) 463-0726

Rep. Charlie Geren — (512) 463-0610

Rep. Jim Keffer — (512) 463-0656

Rep. Lois W. Kolkhorst — (512) 463-0600

Rep. Jim McReynolds — (512) 463-0490

Rep. Allan Ritter — (512) 463-0706

Rep. Burt R. Solomons — (512) 463-0478

Note: Word on the street is that the Calendars committee has locked its door and taken the phone off the hook.  How’s that for open government?  This shouldn’t keep you from calling individual members though, their offices will still be answering the phone.

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Excellent news from San Antonio!

One:  According to a new poll by the Willie Velasquez Institute, the majority of Texans are in favor of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACESA), the big cap and trade bill currently being debated in Congress.

Two: Latino leaders and organizations in San Antonio have formed a coalition called Tejanos for a Better Future to promote climate change mitigation and adaptation from a Latino perspective.

Hope Texas leadership **cough, cough Charlie Gonzalez and Gene Green** is listening because it looks as if ACESA will be voted out of committee tonight, and these Congressmen’s’ opportunity to hold heavy sway over this legislation is fast reaching an end.

WCVI Calls for Congressmen Green and Gonzalez to Vote for Landmark Climate Change Bill

San Antonio, TX – The William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI) recently completed a flash poll of registered voters in Texas Congressional Districts 20 and 29 and the preliminary findings imply strong support for the landmark Climate Change bill, American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACESA).

WCVI, which held Latino Leadership meetings in San Antonio and Los Angeles on April 25th and in Houston on May 21st to discuss this bill, is urging community members to contact Representative Charlie Gonzalez’s and Gene Green’s Offices to support the bill. As members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, they hold important swing votes, which could be scheduled as soon as today.

Further, WCVI, along with other Latino leaders, have formed Tejanos for a Better Future, a coalition of leaders and organizations in San Antonio. Its goal is to promote climate change mitigation and adaptation from a Latino/Hispanic perspective.

The climate crisis will disproportionately impact Latinos. ACESA, now being discussed in Congress will create new economic opportunities for our community through green jobs and a new green economy.” said Antonio Gonzalez, WCVI President.

Preliminary survey data shows 58% of voters support the ACESA. An overwhelming 87% of voters want to see Texas increase its production and use of renewable energy and 95% want to see the state become more energy efficient. And finally, 55% of voters believe green house gases can be reduced while creating economic opportunities and jobs at the same time.

Added Gonzalez, “The work of Tejanos for a Better Future is very timely with the climate change legislation moving through the US House of Representatives this week. This bill is vital to our planet and to Latinos, and we have high expectations that Congressmen Gonzalez and Green will support a strong bill that protects the environment and our community.”

WCVI plans to hold additional Climate Change briefings in Arizona, California and Texas. For more information, call 210-922-3118 or visit www.wcvi.org.

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