Holocaust learning series kicks off at SAPL, encourages people to act when they see hate
The theme of this year's "Holocaust Learn and Remember Series" is Upstanders, meaning people who stand up for those being attacked. The kick-off event featured non-Jewish upstanders from the Holocaust who risked their lives to save Jews.
Struggle, determination mark history of Westwood Square
Tucked between Highway 90 and Castroville Road, the West Side neighborhood of Westwood Square has a history of struggle and determination. After decades of fighting for basic necessities and improvements, longtime residents told KSAT about the lessons they’ve learned from the generation before them, and their hope to instill those values into the next.
Bills filed to bring red light cameras to a full stop in Texas
Rep. Philip Cortez (D-San Antonio) and Sen. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) have filed identical bills in the Texas House and Senate to void any remaining contracts that violate the 2019 ban on red light cameras. Balcones Heights and Leon Valley are two of only three remaining cities that have them in Texas.
Rape kits of deceased victims not mandated to be tracked in Texas; new bill aims to change that
SAN ANTONIO – In Texas, it is not mandatory for rape kits to be traced if a victim has died. It’s a surprising gap in the law that a state senator and Texas families say they won’t allow to continue. For the past four years, pain and anger have pushed Matheson to advocate for sexual assault victims. The bill would mandate tracked rape kits of deceased victims. Texas is one of many states across the nation dealing with backlogs in the processing of rape kits.
San Antonio state senator says Texas energy market is ‘broken’
Texas Sen. José Menéndez said Wednesday the state’s energy market needs to be addressed by the legislature after the state’s power grid overcharged power companies by $16 billion during the winter storm. In an interview with the Texas Tribune about the winter storm, Menéndez applauded Gov. Menéndez also blamed the Public Utility Commission of Texas, which oversees ERCOT, for refusing to correct the mistake. Ad“I was extremely disappointed with the PUC for not having the backs of the ratepayers of Texas,” Menéndez said. “The problem is not so much whether we’re deregulated or regulated ... the reality is the market for energy is broken,” Menéndez said.
Watch San Antonio state Sen. Jose Menendez discuss Texas blackouts March 10 at noon in interview with Texas Tribune
Editor’s note: This story was initially published by the Texas Tribune. Throughout his career, Goldman has worked on campaigns helping to elect Republicans at the local, state and national levels. This conversation is presented by Lone Star College and Texas State Technical College and supported by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, Texas McCombs Energy Institute and Texas Construction Association. Foundation support is provided by the Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation, the Energy Foundation and the Catena Foundation. Though donors and corporate sponsors underwrite Texas Tribune events, they play no role in determining the content, panelists or line of questioning.
New bill would mandate more polling locations on public college campuses in Texas
SAN ANTONIO – A new state bill proposes a mandated number of polling sites each election cycle on public college campuses. How to get involved in the Texas redistricting processAmber Mills just graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington in December. Mills said UT Arlington, with a total enrollment of almost 50,000, only had one polling location. “I do have some friends, for example, that went to the University of North Texas, and they don’t have an on-campus polling location. AdMills hopes the bill will help mandate consistent polling sites for every election, big and small.
Texas lawmakers probe deadly winter storm during day-long hearings
AUSTIN – Committees from both the Texas Senate and Texas House on Thursday questioned energy executives and the head of the state’s power grid operator during hearings exploring last week’s deadly winter storm and power outages. Lawmakers, including state Sen. Jose Menendez, D-San Antonio, questioned why alerts sent out to the public ahead of a hurricane were not used prior to the storm. “I think we should have made some sort of public announcement, sort of like we do with hurricanes,” said Menendez. Curtis Morgan, CEO of Vistra Corp., an Irving-based energy company, told House members during a joint hearing that energy plants in Texas are built to withstand hot weather and hurricanes, but not frigid temperatures. A report released Thursday by Texans for Public Justice, an Austin non-profit that tracks money in Texas politics, shows that political donors tied to ERCOT’s board gave Texas House members more than $700,000 the past two years.
Two San Antonio lawmakers file bills to allow Texans to vote on time change
SAN ANTONIO – Are you tired of changing your clocks twice a year? More than 200 daylight saving bills and resolutions have been introduced in almost every state across the country since 2015, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Several states have passed bills in favor of permanent daylight saving time. This bill will allow Texans to pick a time they feel is best for them.”“The practice of changing our clocks is nonsensical and has significant drawbacks. We want to give Texans an opportunity to vote on ending this practice by choosing between standard time year-round or daylight saving time year-round,” Larson, a Republican, said.
Upcoming Texas Legislature expected to tackle redistricting, public safety and budget issues
Henry Flores, a professor emeritus of political science at St. Mary’s University, says redistricting will likely be the most important topic lawmakers handle this session. The redistricting process happens once a decade in the Legislature followed by the Census. It’s going to be a lot of money spent on just that process before the districts are finally drawn. The data was expected by December 2020 but is now expected in early 2021 and will complicate the process, Flores said. Lawmakers will also have to face bills dealing with public safety as the national outcry for police reform grows.
San Antonio state lawmakers looking to expand marijuana use in the state
SAN ANTONIO – Texas lawmakers have begun filing bills for the upcoming legislative session and there are already more than a dozen bills regarding marijuana use and decriminalization. The new bill proposals come off the heels of five more states legalizing marijuana for full medical use or recreational use. “The people of Texas are tired of marijuana prohibition,” Heather Fazio the director of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy said. The Compassionate Use Act in Texas only allows a small amount of medical marijuana to certain patients. The 86th Legislative session begins on Jan. 8.
Critics urge Texas regulators to reverse decision allowing social workers to turn away clients who are LGBTQ or have a disability
Advocates called the move by the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners, which has not yet been finalized, an attempt to create “two classes of Texans” during a press conference organized by the Texas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. There is currently no law in Texas that protects LGBTQ people from discrimination. The code will no longer prohibit social workers from discriminating on the basis of a disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. Greg Abbott’s office recommended the change, board members said, because the nondiscrimination protections went further than those laid out in state law. The change sparked national backlash, including from 11 members of Texas’ congressional delegation who called on Abbott and the board to reverse the decision.
Texas legislators fighting new rule allowing social workers to deny service to LGBTQ, disabled clients
SAN ANTONIO – Organizations and legislators continue to lash out after the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners voted to allow social workers to refuse service to people based on disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. New Texas rule lets social workers turn away clients who are LGBTQ or have a disabilityIt’s a statement that Salcido is grateful to hear. “Social workers are the very people that are meant to be unbiased and to offer that support to somebody that is already experiencing a dark time or needing help navigating through their experiences,” he said. Members of the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners said Gov. Greg Abbott’s office recommended the change because the code’s nondiscrimination protections went beyond protections laid out in the state law that governs how and when the state may discipline social workers.
VIA to livestream transit town hall at 7 p.m. with San Antonio leaders
SAN ANTONIO VIA will be hosting a live town hall Tuesday night to talk about the future of transit in the San Antonio area. Residents can register to participate in the call at KeepSAMoving.com or by texting the word VIA to 833-898-5483. Registrants will receive a call shortly before the event goes live and can submit questions for our panelists while on the line. The Keep SA Moving telephone Town Hall event will feature the following speakers:State Rep. Barbara Gervin-HawkinsState Rep. Rey LopezState Sen. Jose MenendezVIA Chief Strategic Officer Marisa Bono will serve as moderator. WE'RE LIVE: Keep SA Moving Tele-Town Hall State Reps. Gervin-Hawkins, Lopez and State Sen. Menndez join us for a live conversation about VIA's plan designed to deliver service that puts opportunity within everyone's reach.
State lawmakers, local leaders on Facebook Live at 7 p.m. to answer questions about COVID-19
SAN ANTONIO – Several Texas lawmakers from the area will be joined by other government officials for a Facebook Live event at 7 p.m. on Monday. Facebook Live will be available for viewing on the following Facebook Pages:Questions can be submitted on those Facebook pages. The following will be participating in the hour-long event:Texas State Rep. Barbara Gervin-Hawkins (Dist. 120)Texas State Sen. Pete FloresTexas State Sen. Jose MenendezDr. Charles J. Lerner, Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Taskforce MemberDawn Emerick, Director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health DistrictAnthony Ruiz, District Director San Antonio District Office U.S. Small Business AdministrationCOVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.
Bill filed Monday calls for state regulation of hemp, nonpsychoactive form of cannabis
State Sen. Jose Menendez filed a lengthy bill Monday that includes details about regulation, licensing and research. Cannabidiol, or CBD, an active cannabinoid in hemp, is used by many people for health purposes. Marijuana, which contains THC, gets you high, while CBD does not. The bill not only calls for regulation of what's inside the CBD products but also licensing. The Department of State Health Services had proposed to ban and regulate certain CBD products but recently backed off.