Rural connectivity is worth the fight – The Big Bend Sentinel
In a world where connectivity is a necessity for healthcare, education, commerce, emergencies and basic living, the Texas Universal Service Fund (TUSF) has helped build and maintain the connectivity rural residents enjoy today. Unfortunately, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is currently defunding these rural networks without taking a single vote or developing a backup plan for rural Texans. Therefore, I am calling on the new PUC commissioners to immediately hold a hearing and perform their statutory duty to keep the TUSF fully funded.bigbendsentinel.com
What is gender-affirming medical care for transgender children? Here’s what you need to know.
Texas GOP lawmakers failed to restrict transition-related health care options for transgender Texas kids earlier this year. But Gov. Greg Abbott wants a state agency to determine if some procedures constitute child abuse.
Texas Senate approves limits on transgender athletes
Amid their Democratic colleagues’ push to halt GOP priority voting legislation, Senate Republicans passed two bills on Wednesday that would restrict transgender student athletes from participating on sports teams that do not correspond with their sex assigned at birth.myrgv.com
Texas GOP’s bills targeting transgender children have exacted a mental health toll, even if they don’t become law
As the clock ticks on this year's legislative session, the House scheduled a Tuesday floor debate for a bill that would limit transgender children's sports team participation. Other GOP bills that would restrict or punish transition-related health care, like puberty blockers, missed a key Sunday deadline to advance.
Transgender students in Texas would be barred from school sports teams matching their gender identity under a bill advanced by state Senate
<figcaption> A Texas Senate bill would limit what public school sports teams transgender Texas youth could join. <cite>Credit: Eddie Seal for The Texas Tribune</cite> </figcaption>
As Texas Legislature considers anti-trans bills, NCAA announces it will not hold events in states that discriminate against trans students
<figcaption> The NCAA Board of Governors said Monday that they will not host championships in states that exclude transgender student-athletes from participating. <cite>Credit: Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports via REUTERS</cite> </figcaption>
After Texas’ power grid failure, some in Lubbock worry about the city’s plans to join ERCOT
Lubbock officials initially planned to join ERCOT once its 15-year-long contract with Xcel Energy, a member of the Southwestern Public Service Company, expires. Spencer lives in Lubbock, one of the few areas of the state not connected to Texas’ independent power grid. AdThe failures of Texas’ independent power grid have led to some counties mulling a way out. Lubbock officials initially planned to join ERCOT once its 15-year-long contract with Xcel Energy, a member of the Southwestern Public Service Company, expires. Lubbock City Councilperson Jeff Griffith he still feels confident Lubbock will move forward with the plans to join ERCOT.
As State Legislature convenes, Equality Texas warns of bills targeting trans youth
The Texas Legislature convened for its 2021 session on January 12 and already Republican politicians, Representative Steve Toth and Senator Charles Perry, are targeting transgender youth with bills which Equality Texas says will put these young people “under a harmful spotlight.”In an email to its members, Equality Texas described the two proposed bills. “Toth’s bill, HB 68, would ban transgender youth from accessing affirming, best practice healthcare by reclassifying it as child abuse. For transgender youth who are insistent, consistent, and persistent about their gender identity, parents, guardians and medical experts work together to provide age-appropriate care. The organization has provided this link for citizens interested in helping defeat these two bills. Together we can stop these bills in their tracks and create a Texas with full and lived equality for all of us,” Equality Texas writes in its message.outinsa.com
Toxic substance or water supply?
The EPA told the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality last week that the state could take charge of the federal government’s responsibilities to regulate discharging so-called "produced water," if the water met certain toxicity standards. State Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, argues that the water could eventually help the state replenish its diminishing water supplies. “This is a water supply that hasn’t been cultivated or tapped,” Perry said. Produced water contains high amounts of salt, as well as other minerals and toxins in varying amounts depending on the shale formation it comes from, and technology to make the water potable is still expensive. Now, he said, “the regulatory environment is set up to have the produced water conversation.”mysanantonio.com
Toxic substance or water supply? Lawmakers to weigh whether wastewater from oil fields could replenish the state's aquifers
State Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, argues that the water could eventually help the state replenish its diminishing water supplies. Now, he said, “the regulatory environment is set up to have the produced water conversation.”But reusing produced water is far from financially viable today, industry analysts said. And it’s usually cheaper for companies to buy fresh water for hydraulic fracturing than to treat produced water for that purpose. Environmental groups and some scientists warn against releasing the produced water, even after treatment, into Texas streams and rivers. “We don’t have standards for produced water — we’ve never had to deal with it,” said Scanlon, the UT hydrogeologist.
Ector County GOP censures Abbott over executive power amid coronavirus, state Sen. Charles Perry calls for special session
Greg Abbott, accusing him of overstepping his authority in responding to the coronavirus pandemic, while state Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, called for a special session so lawmakers could have a say in how Texas proceeds amid soaring caseloads. The party executive committee in Ector County, home to Odessa, passed the censure resolution 10-1, with one abstention and three voting members who were not present, according to the chairperson, Tisha Crow. "This is why I urge Governor Abbott to convene a special session to allow the legislature to pass legislation and hold hearings regarding the COVID-19 response," Perry said. In the upper chamber, state Sen. Bob Hall, R-Edgewood, has also called for a special session, as have several House Republicans. Abbott has not explicitly ruled out a special session before the Legislature meets again in January.