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TexasTowelie

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 83,633

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Navajos say new Arizona restrictions will complicate voting

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona Republicans say the voter restrictions they're pushing after President Joe Biden's win in the state last year are designed to strengthen the integrity of future elections.

To some, the changes will make voting more difficult than it already is.

The bills, some signed into law this past week by Gov. Doug Ducey, are worrisome for Native Americans who live in remote areas, other communities of color and voters whose first language isn’t English.

One codifies the existing practice of giving voters who didn't sign mail-in ballots until 7 p.m. on Election Day to do so, defying a recently settled lawsuit that would have given voters additional days to provide a signature. Another will result in potentially tens of thousands of people being purged from a list of voters who automatically get a ballot by mail.

Read more: https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/ap/national/navajos-say-new-arizona-restrictions-will-complicate-voting/article_804a1514-7b4c-505e-977d-708b338cbd9d.html

Wichita Falls man found not guilty after online threat to kill Nancy Pelosi

A Wichita Falls man was found not guilty of transmission in interstate commerce earlier this month after he alledgely made a Facebook comment saying he was going to cause injury to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Gavin Weslee Blake Perry was found not guilty of the crime after a jury trial in the Northern Texas District Federal Court, according to federal court documents filed May 3.

If he had been convicted, Perry faced a maximum of five years in federal prison.

Allegedly threatening comments were posted March 23, 2020, one at 11:22 a.m. by a person using Facebook account “Gavinwbperry.”

In the post, the individual said they viewed all Democrats or people that are “part of the establishment” as criminals and terrorists.

Read more: https://www.timesrecordnews.com/story/news/2021/05/14/wichita-falls-man-found-not-guilty-after-threat-kill-pelosi/5090283001/
(Wichita Falls Times Record News)


Gavin Perry

After sweltering temperatures killed Texas prisoners, lawmakers vote to install air conditioning

The bill approved by the House aims to cool all of Texas’ prisons before 2029. But even if it is signed into law, the lockups will only be air conditioned if lawmakers provide funds for installation.

by Jolie McCullough, Texas Tribune


As Texas braces for its notoriously scorching summer temperatures, the state House agreed to install air conditioning in dozens of uncooled prisons within seven years — but only if lawmakers set aside money for it.

On Thursday night, the Texas House initially passed a bill that would require all Texas lockups to be cooled over a seven-year span, capping costs at $300 million. But the state prison agency would only have to abide by the measure if lawmakers also agree to provide state or federal funds toward cooling costs. The bill finally cleared the House Friday on a 123-18 vote and was sent to the Senate.

“The reality is, in Texas, we are cooking people in prisons,” state Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, said on the floor when presenting his bill. “This is the right thing to do, it is the humane thing to do, and it’s something we should have done a long time ago.”

Currently, 70% of the state’s nearly 100 prison facilities do not have air conditioning in living areas. Some areas, like administrative offices and infirmaries, are air conditioned at all units.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2021/05/14/texas-prison-air-conditioning-legislature/

New Texas lawsuit accuses Biden administration of threatening state's health care funding to force

New Texas lawsuit accuses Biden administration of threatening state’s health care funding to force Medicaid expansion

by Karen Brooks Harper, Texas Tribune


Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration Friday to reinstate an eight-year extension to a federal health care funding agreement, worth billions of dollars annually and set to expire next year, that the state uses to help pay for health care for uninsured Texans.

Last month, federal health officials rescinded the Trump-era extension to the 1115 waiver agreement — which Texas has had with the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services since 2011 and is up for review every few years — and ordered Texas to collect public input, as the agreement requires, while it renegotiates a new extension beyond its current October 2022 expiration date.

The decision did not stop the funding in the current waiver, which will continue to provide $3.87 billion in annual funding for 2021 and 2022 to partly offset free care provided by Texas hospitals to the uninsured, and to pay for innovative health care projects that serve low-income Texans, often for mental health services.

The extension, granted in the waning days of Donald Trump’s presidency, would have continued hospital reimbursements until September 2030 but allowed the innovation fund to expire.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2021/05/14/texas-health-care-paxton-lawsuit-medicaid/

As rates of stoned drivers increase, law enforcement face challenges

According to a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey published in 2019, nearly 70% of Americans think it’s unlikely a driver will get caught by police for driving while high on marijuana.

Additionally, 14.8 million drivers report getting behind the wheel within one hour after using marijuana in the 30 days before they took the survey.

Since Washington state passed Initiative 502 to legalize recreational marijuana, rates of drivers under the influence of cannabis and involved in fatal collisions have risen at an alarming rate.

According to another AAA Foundation survey, the estimated percentage of drivers involved in fatal crashes who were THC-positive in Washington state rose to 21.4 percent by 2017.

Read more: https://www.seattleweekly.com/news/as-rates-of-stoned-drivers-increase-law-enforcement-face-challenges/

Change of name, mascots approved at three Spokane schools in light of concerns

The Spokane Public Schools board made it official Wednesday night: The North Central Indians mascot will soon be retired.

Also by a unanimous vote, the board approved a name change at Sheridan Elementary and new mascot to replace the Chiefs at Garry Middle School.

The changes at NC and Sheridan had been in the works since last year, with widespread school and community support for both.

While some could argue that a new state law would have banned the NC and Garry mascots anyway, board President Jerrall Haynes didn’t see it that way.

Read more: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2021/may/13/change-of-name-mascots-approved-at-three-spokane-s/
(Spokane Spokesman-Review)

Washington state expands 'good Samaritan' law to protect volunteers in emergencies, disasters

Washington state has expanded its “good Samaritan” law to protect volunteers who help others during emergencies or natural disasters.

HB Bill 1209, sponsored by Rep. Dan Bronoske, D-Lakewood, passed both chambers of the Legislature this session with unanimous bipartisan support.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed it into law on April 16. It will take effect on July 25.

The law states that a volunteer won’t be liable for civil damages while providing nonmedical care at the scene of an emergency or disaster unless the act rises to the level of “gross negligence” or “willful or wanton misconduct.”

Previously the good Samaritan law only covered medical response. The Seattle Emergency Communications Hubs began pushing for the expansion last year, as volunteers became concerned about the limitation.

Read more: https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2021/may/14/washington-state-expands-good-samaritan-law-to-pro/
(Spokane Spokesman-Review)

Tacoma judge ordered to remove himself from 'entangled' case that caused rift in court

A Pierce County judge has ordered that a Tacoma Municipal Court judge recuse himself from the case of a man who has been caught up in a judicial dispute that is before the state Supreme Court.

The man has been waiting a year and four months to be sentenced in Municipal Court.

“The length of the delay is excessive,” Superior Court Judge Thomas Quinlan said at a hearing May 7.

This week Quinlan signed an order granting the man’s request for a writ of mandamus, ordering that Municipal Court Judge David Ladenburg recuse himself from the case so that the defendant can be sentenced by another judge May 17.

“He need not be, should not be, and cannot be left in legal and constitutional limbo,” Quinlan said, acknowledging that the man’s request was an “extraordinary remedy.”

Read more: https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/article251387048.html
(Tacoma News Tribune)

Juneteenth becomes an official, paid holiday for state employees in Washington

Gov. Jay Inslee has officially declared Juneteenth a state holiday in Washington.

He signed a slate of bills on Thursday including House Bill 1016, making June 19 a paid day off for state workers starting in 2022.

Juneteenth — also known as Emancipation Day and Freedom Day — marks the day when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 and informed the last enslaved African Americans there that they were free.

Inslee said he was honored to sign the “joyous bill” during a signing ceremony at the state capitol.

Read more: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/juneteenth-becomes-an-official-paid-holiday-for-state-employees-in-washington/

New Washington state law makes drug possession a misdemeanor

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The jeans were from American Eagle, via Goodwill, and they were too short for their new owner, 6-foot Shannon Bowman.

So Bowman stitched a couple inches of denim onto the bottom of the legs and put them on for the first time two days after her friend had given them to her. She didn’t notice the tiny, nearly empty baggie of methamphetamine in the coin pocket.

That fact more than four years later would lead to a Washington state Supreme Court decision striking down Washington’s drug possession law; the expected vacation of tens of thousands of criminal convictions dating back decades; and the overhaul of the state’s approach to drug possession signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday.

“It’s cool there’s a lot of people who are going to have a second chance to make things right,” Bowman said in a recent interview. “Hopefully they go down a good road.”

Read more: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/new-washington-state-law-makes-drug-possession-a-misdemeanor/
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