Edinburg – John Krouse, the dean of the School of Medicine at UTRGV would like the citizens of Hidalgo County to support a health care taxing district, this according to comments he made at Tuesday’s Health care forum, hosted by the Texas Tribune.
Krouse was also joined by state Representatives Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa and Oscar Longoria, and U.S. Rep Filemon Vela, with each giving their opinion and insight on the health care conundrum in the Rio Grande Valley.
President Donald Trump is renewing his demand that Congress fund a wall on the southern border after a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed from injuries inccurred while working over the weekend in southwest Texas, while his partner was injured.
“Border Patrol officer killed at southern border, another badly hurt,” the president said in a tweet. “We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the wall!”
Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt. We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the Wall!
Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez, 36, and his partner were responding to “activity” in Van Horn, Texas. Martinez died and his partner, not named by officials or in news accounts, is reportedly hospitalized. News reports Monday morning said the government hasn’t confirmed what the agents were responding to.
The cause of death is not known. Jeanette Harper, with the FBI’s El Paso, Texas, office told the San Antonio Express-News: “They were not fired upon. There are so many different agencies working together that we need to come together and develop a timeline.”
CBP tells us Agent Martinez’ hometown was El Paso. He was 36 and entered on duty with the Border Patrol on 8/12/2013. pic.twitter.com/f9p1jzO7wW
“Earlier this morning, I was notified that Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez died as a result of serious injuries suffered while on patrol in the Big Bend Sector of our southern border in Texas,” acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke said in a public statement. The Border Patrol is a division of the Department of Homeland Security.
Agent Martinez was responding to activity while on patrol with another agent, who was also seriously injured. We are fully supporting the ongoing investigation to determine the cause of this tragic event. On behalf of the quarter of a million frontline officers and agents of DHS, my thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Agent Martinez and to the agent who is in serious condition.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also weighed in.
Our prayers are with the families of this Border Patrol Agent who was killed & the other who was injured in this attack in Texas. Our resources must be increased to prevent these attacks in the future. #txlege#tcothttps://t.co/60tHfoWKRq
Liberal-leaning media outlets have all but ignored the negative impact of illegal immigration. And in their desperate attempt to distort reform efforts aimed at improving public safety, they’ve also misled the public. But the facts published by Texas’ own government make a compelling case for the reforms that passed in 2017.
On May 7, 2017, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 4 (SB 4), a bill that requires local law enforcement to cooperate with federal authorities in order to enforce existing immigration laws.
Local officials who violate the newly enacted law may face criminal sanctions. And as a result of an amendment authored by State Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving), a member of the Texas Freedom Caucus, these officials may also be removed from public office.
Despite the rampant media spin, SB 4 did not grant any new powers to local law enforcement officers, nor did it sanction “racial profiling.” In fact, it explicitly prohibits profiling. But many so-called reporters don’t read legislation, they recklessly recirculate liberal talking points. In a letter mailed to his constituents, Rinaldi wrote:
“SB 4 contains safeguards to protect individuals from racial profiling and prohibits law enforcement from inquiring as to the immigration status of those who report a crime. Contrary to many misleading news reports, local law enforcement is also prohibited from stopping any individual merely because they suspect them of an immigration violation.”
After Abbott signed SB 4, public sector unions and other liberal groups bused in hundreds of protestors to the Texas Capitol to protest what they called a “racist” law. The protest quickly turned into a violent mob, resulting in the unlawful disruption of Texas House proceedings.
While mainstream media outlets continued to distort the bill’s provisions, they also refuse to report on the public safety risk posed by illegal immigrants who have committed other crimes while living in Texas.
Since 2011 – according to Texas’ Department of Public Safety (DPS) – there have been over 606,000 criminal offenses in Texas committed by 228,000 individuals with illegal status. Many of the crimes are violent in nature. Of the 606,000 crimes in total, 1,273 were murders, 72,203 were assaults, while 6,516 were sexual assaults. Rinaldi accurately described the positive public safety impact SB 4 could have:
“Of these 228,000 illegal immigrants, over 152,000 (66 percent) were identified by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as having illegal status at the time of their previous arrest. As a result, SB 4 should have a significant crime deterrent effect.”
The facts surrounding the negative impact of criminal aliens are overwhelming. Crimes committed by anyone – including illegal immigrants – put the safety of Texans and their families at risk.
While many in the dinosaur media have done their best to distort SB 4, the facts speak for themselves. Conservatives like Rinaldi should be commended for standing strong for the safety of all Texans, especially in the face of vicious attacks by Democrats and their media propagandists.
Rio Grande Valley – Liberals received their marching orders and the orders are to deflect to Trump in handling Senator Al Franken’s sexual harassment scandal. Franken has been accused of sexual misconduct when a long held photograph of him reaching out to seemingly grasp the breast of sleeping journalist Leeann Tweeden.
The photo was taken while both Franken and Tweeden were attending a 2006 USO Tour.
Liberals, rather than address the situation at hand, opted to compare the sexual advance to that of Judge Roy Moore and his sexual misconduct allegations. Moore is currently seeking a highly coveted U.S. Senate seat in Alabama.
President Donald Trump’s tweet regarding Franken’s conduct sent the liberal press into over-drive, with the press criticizing Trump’s response to Franken in comparison to his handling of Moore’s allegations.
McAllen – Former McAllen Mayor and former District 1 Commissioner Richard Cortez officially kicked-off his bid to become the next Hidalgo County Judge. Speaking in front of supporters, Cortez assured them that he’ll work to become a County Judge that citizens would be proud of. Current Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia will not be seeking re-election.
Speaking with the Rio Grande Guardian, Cortez offered his plans on dealing with county-wide issues, one which includes his support of a highly unpopular proposal. For the much maligned courthouse project, Cortez assures that he’ll see that it’s built on time and on budget. In speaking about the UT-RGV School of Medicine, Cortez would like to see the school fully funded. Currently, legislation in Austin have left the UTRGV Medical School with reduced funding. Proposition 1, which sought to establish a health care taxing district, would have offered additional financial support to the medical school. At this time, Cortez hasn’t made it clear whether he would support a new health care proposition.
Despite the fanfare, there are some local leaders that are still un-sold on Cortez’s appeal in a county-wide race, one official being current County Judge Ramon Garcia.
Prior attempts at establishing a healthcare taxing district have failed twice with Hidalgo County voters.
EDINBURG – A highly controversial subject is expected to be discussed once more if agenda items hold true at Tuesdays Commissioners Court meeting. Item 8-A on the Hidalgo County agenda calls for a discussion over a “Health Care Funding District.” Previous attempts at creating at Healthcare (Hospital) District have failed twice with Hidalgo County voters, with the most recent 2016 Proposition 1 being rejected by 72% of voters. Continue reading “Health Care District back on Hidalgo County Agenda”
Edinburg – Hidalgo County Executive Officer, Valde Guerra will being enjoying a 22% increase in salary if Hidalgo County Commissioners approve the Fiscal Year 2018 budget next week. The increase will bring Mr. Guerra’s total compensation to around $160,000 annually, which would be on par with other county governments of similar size and scope, this according to Precinct 2 Commissioner Eddie Cantu who spoke with the McAllen Monitor.
Guerra has been in the services of Hidalgo County for the past 30 years, ultimately being appointed to Executive Officer in 2007. According to Executive Officer profile on the Hidalgo County website, Guerra’s duties include:
Oversee and provide management direction to all County departments under the direct control of the Court.
Ensure to the Court that all departments are managed and administered in an efficient and cost-effective manner
Support the overall operations of the County
Provide necessary services to the Hidalgo County citizens and/or to County departments and employees
Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia, Hidalgo Commissioners, nor Mr Guerra himself have demonstrated what additional duties Mr. Guerra would assume to justify a 22 percent increase, nor have they disclosed any performance evaluation reports to the public that would justify an increase.
It didn’t take long for Hidalgo County citizens to raise their concerns with Mr. Guerra’s raise. The optics couldn’t come at worse time considering the cost of the new county courthouse is under scrutiny, and questions were raised on whether Hidalgo County really needed to procure a 5.4 million dollar voting machine replacement.
Complicating matters further is the uncertainty the federal 2018 budget will have on municiple and county governments, particular in housing and urban development, much in which the county has some oversight. Reduction or elimination of these grants could reduce employment, and place additional burden on Hidalgo County’s very own general fund if the county is to cover some of the cost.
Citizens also pointed out that Mr. Guerra’s increase amounted to an annual salary of various entry level staff positions, and could be better spent in aquiring additional support in numerous departments. Taking a look at the employement section of the county website shows a few positions where $28,943 increase is nearly the starting annual salary for some staff positions.
That being the case, did the Executive Office, budget office, and Commissioners take the time needed to determine whether essential support staff was urgent and necessary before approving the raise? Increase in personnel charges must be sustainable, and it’s $29,000 the county will not have for additional personnel or operating cost. This especially at a time where unemployment rates in the Rio Grande Valley are running at higher percentages than other major metro areas.
Once again Commissioner Eddie Cantu justified Mr. Guerra’s increase by saying it maintains parity with other counties. However, what Mr. Cantu fails to understand is just because something is wasteful in other counties, doesn’t mean it has to be wasteful in ours.
UPDATE: The annual cost of living adjustment (budget permitting) for employees is 3 percent.
Edinburg – Followers of both Edinburg Mayor Richard Garcia and ECISD School Board member Miguel “Mike” Farias were treated to a tense but “respectful” exchange over the fate of an uncompleted park project. Despite the respectful pleasantries peppered in their respective post, both sides accused the other of political posturing.