By Terrence Henry
January 16, 2014 at 4:29pm
Representative Terry Canales joins House Energy Resources Committee on Seismic Activity to investigate links between oil and gas drilling and earthquakes.Read more
Local law enforcement welcomes prospective continued DPS surges; Rep. Canales, ACLU remain skeptical
by Jacob Fischler | The Monitor
Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 7:25 pm
The three-week, Texas Department of Public Safety-led enforcement surge in the Rio Grande Valley this fall may become a more permanent border security strategy, minus one controversial aspect of the operation.
In a Wednesday news conference in Austin, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst called on members of the Senate committee that deals with homeland security issues “to study the effectiveness of the recent Department of Public Safety surge operation and make recommendations for future surges,” according to a news release from his office.Read more
by House Photography
Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 4:30 pm
Texas lawmakers from the Rio Grande Valley make the “Aye” symbol on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives last spring after unanimously voting for the creation of a new university merging the University of Texas-Pan American andRead more
Rep.-elect Canales: Proposed UT Law School for Valley could represent $80 million
Like a vision determined to become reality, Valley state lawmakers will once again push for legislation to create a University of Texas Law School in South Texas, and Rep.-elect Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, says he will support that effort.
Currently, the closest law schools to the Rio Grande Valley are in San Antonio, Austin, and Houston.
“First and foremost, a law school is about empowering a region with the tools and knowledge to seek and obtain legal and social justice,” Canales said.
According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, which is a state agency with great influence over public higher education in the Lone Star State, the cost, over five years, of beginning a brand new law school is $80.4 million.
In October 2010, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, under orders from the Texas Legislature, issued a 46-page analysis, entitled The Feasibility of Establishing a Public Law School in Texas, Including the Texas-Mexico Border Region.
by The Monitor
Posted: Thrusday, November 21, 2013 12:15am
Voter ID laws
State Rep. Terry Canales’ Nov. 10 guest column “ID laws making it harder for Texans to vote” decried Texas’s new voter identification laws.
Despite Canales’ deep dive into the issue, he forgot one key demographic that is negatively affected by these new draconia rules: The more than 500,000 Texans in college.
Whether you are an Aggie, Longhorn or Red Raider, you have to present identification different than the one provided by a Texas public institution, your university, to cast a ballot in the state.
As bright Texans leave home to pursue the higher education that drives Texas forward, they are simultaneously being disenfranchised by the state’s new voter identification laws.Read more
LETTERS: Readers debate Obamacare, support Wendy Davis and voter ID laws and point out fumbled word jumble
Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013 12:00 am
Have Americans become a nation of whiners? What can be the problem with folks whose insurance plan was done away with because it did not meet the basics of the Affordable Care Act? Do they want inferior and more expensive insurance plans that provide lousy coverage?
Perhaps they do. If so, let them keep their lousy insurance plans. The rest of us Americans will obtain better insurance plans. Ask for a subsidy to help pay for it if the new and better plans cost more than the old inadequate plans. There is no free lunch, but there is help.Read more
DPS releases data from controversial checkpoints.
Sergio Chapa, Valley Central
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has released data from a series of random checkpoints that created controversy in the Rio Grande Valley back in September.
DPS reports that state troopers participating in set up a total of 12 traffic regulatory checkpoints to increase compliance with driver license, insurance, vehicle safety and registration law.
Out of the 1,705 vehicles stopped at the checkpoints, state troopers issued 281 citations and 249 warnings for driver license, liability insurance, vehicle registration or inspection violations.
DPS dubs Valley checkpoints a success
Jacob Fischler, The Monitor
Dubbed “Operation Strong Safety,” the $3.4 million, three-week initiative in the Rio Grande Valley included increased patrols and traffic checkpoints in DPS primary jurisdictions — rural areas and unincorporated colonias — and ended nearly three weeks ago.
The checkpoints garnered statewide attention and became something of an issue among local residents, politicians and law enforcement officials. Immigrant advocates claimed the checkpoints were used to round up and identify those illegally in the country, though DPS and local law enforcement denied that was the case.
DPS officials said the random stops promoted highway safety — even when data show the Valley has safer roads than elsewhere in the state.
An analysis by the Austin American-States-man revealed that state traffic data showed that Hidalgo and Cameron counties lag behind cities like Houston, Laredo and Midland in crashes per mile traveled. Fatal crash rates locally were below the statewide average last year, as well.