Decision Maker

Greg Abbott

  • Governor of Texas

Attorney General Greg Abbott was reelected as the 50th Attorney General of Texas on November 2, 2010. Prior to his election as attorney general, Greg Abbott served as a Justice on the Texas Supreme Court and as a State District Judge in Harris County.


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Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Bill Walker, Asa Hutchinson, Jerry Brown, Nathan Deal, Rick Scott, David Ige, Butch Otter, Bruce Rauner, Mike Pence, Terry Branstad, Sam Brownback, Matt ...

Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment

This is the year 2016. Isn’t it time women had equal rights in America? Will you join me by signing a petition compelling your lawmakers to vote to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment? “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” The Equal Rights Amendment, first introduced in 1923 by Alice Paul, is an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that affirms that all citizens deserve equal rights under the law regardless of sex or gender. Seems self-evident, right? Do you think that women’s equal rights are guaranteed by our constitution? Sadly, they are not. The ERA never passed, leaving women’s rights up for interpretation. This imbalance has been demonstrated time and time again in the highest courts in the land, where women often lose even when clear bias is shown. Women’s rights are seemingly at the mercy of whoever is in office or on a judicial bench at any given time. Here is what one of our most influential Supreme Court justices said on the matter of sex discrimination: "Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn't."
—Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia While we in America may think that women are doing fine, the rest of the world does not. The United Nations has deemed the United States to be a country that does not adequately protect women’s human rights. The Equal Rights Amendment may seem unnecessary to some, but the truth is American women do not have explicit rights under The Constitution. There are dozens of areas where a lack of equal rights negatively affects women and the families they support. Here are just a few: • America is the only nation in the world with a rising maternal mortality rate.
 • 10,000 abused women are turned away from shelters daily, a total of 3.65 million denied requests per year. When looking specifically at the gender pay gap: There is a direct correlation between underpaying mothers and child hunger. It is estimated that half of the 33 million women and children living in poverty in the United States would not be if women were paid their full dollar. Is it any wonder that 1 in 5 children in America go hungry? Seventy-five percent of all African American children are being raised by full time working single mothers who are paid .60 cents on the dollar. Latinas earn .55 cents on the dollar, and white women make .78 cents compared to their white male counterparts. Our transgender sisters are faring even worse. They are four times as likely to have a household income under $10,000 and twice as likely to be unemployed. Over the course of her working life, an American woman will lose between $400,000 and two million dollars due to wage discrimination. The Equal Rights Amendment would provide an express constitutional basis to challenge sex-based discrimination. It would also ensure that laws and government actions that treat women differently are reviewed by the courts with the strictest of standards. With the upcoming 2016 election we need to intensify the conversation around women's issues and compel our lawmakers to protect the basic civil and human rights of American women by passing the ERA. It is time that we finally make this happen for ourselves, our daughters, and for the future of our nation. If even Supreme Court justices don’t believe the Constitution protects women from discrimination, let’s pass an amendment that will. Please join me along with Kamala Lopez, the director of the upcoming documentary “Equal Means Equal,” the ERA Coalition, and Noreen Farrell of Equal Rights Advocates, to sign this petition for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment #EqualMeansEqual —Patricia Arquette

Patricia Arquette with Equal Rights Advocates
126,867 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Greg Abbott

Help End Lunch Shaming in Texas Schools. Feed the kids, Bill the parents. #ShameFreeTX

    JUNE 2017 UPDATE - JUNE 2017 UPDATE - JUNE 2017 UPDATE With the passage of SB 1566 the Texas Legislature effectively addressed Lunch Shaming in Texas schools, all we lack now is Governor Abbott's signature and that bill will be law!  Following closely behind New Mexico, Texas is poised to become the second state to address Lunch Shaming on a statewide level.  Upon the Governor's signature we will become #ShameFreeTX      MAY 2017 UPDATE - MAY 2017 UPDATE - MAY 2017 UPDATE https://www.texasobserver.org/texas-lunch-shaming-problem-fight-fix/ It is clear that this petition has grown beyond its original stated purpose, the amendment of Texas HB 3562, the intent however, has never changed, I would like to put an end to what has become known as lunch shaming. 

In my opinion, this petition and the social media pages associated with it, have morphed into a launch point for ending lunch shaming on the national level. Clearly, the action taken by New Mexico to end lunch shaming has put the issue in the national spotlight, that’s a good thing. Let’s agree to support one another and any and all efforts to end lunch shaming nationwide. I have encouraged supporters from the beginning to address this issue locally, at your child’s school, school district, city and state. Check local school websites and locate their child nutrition policy, if you agree with their plan for dealing with delinquent meal accounts then that’s great, if not then call them out on social media in order to get like-minded supporters and together, call for change. Contact your local school board, contact local media outlets, make noise and rally supporters. There IS strength in numbers. A bit more on lunch shaming, I recently came across a Twitter page that address lunch shaming but is NOT state specific, https://twitter.com/endlunchshaming Sadly, this page only has 53 followers, as a reference, Kim Kardashian West has 52 million Twitter followers.  I have nothing against Mrs. West, but how about we rally behind one Twitter page so that our numbers reflect our strength and resolve toward ending lunch shaming policies nationwide. If not this page then please choose and share another, we need a unified front and the pressure needs to stay on.  A focused effort is more likely to be effective. TEXANS - URGENT - FOR THOSE HERE IN TEXAS - 

URGENT - TEXANS The Texas legislature failed to act on amending HB 3562 and that time has now passed, HB 2159 which addressed many of the issues that were to be addressed through the amendment to HB 3562 has been killed as well . . . in a way, read on. Ok supporters, here is the latest on HB 2159, the bill that would end, or at least limit, Lunch Shaming in Texas schools, thanks to legislative shenanigans, the bill never received a second reading and now that window has passed so that bill is essentially dead. Don’t fret however, for thanks to the actions of several legislators in both the House and the Senate, the language of HB 2159 has been included in three new bills, HB 367, SB 725 and SB 1696. That's right, HB 2159 LIVES AGAIN! But wait, there’s more! One of the trio, HB 367, is currently at Stage four of seven, it has already been voted on and passed the House, it is now headed to the Senate, oh, and one last thing on HB 367, it is a bipartisan bill! Another bill that now includes the language from HB 2159 is SB 725, and while it may not be a bipartisan bill, it is actually at Stage four of seven, it has passed the Senate and is headed to the House! And finally, there is SB 1696 also includes the language from HB 2159; this bill is also at Stage three of seven, it has been voted on by the Senate and is headed to the House. We are getting close to ending, or at least seriously dampening Lunch Shaming in Texas folks but as they say, “It ain’t over till it’s over!” I need tweets, emails, phone calls, Facebook posts asking the following: Contact your state Senator representative and ask them to support and vote “YES” on HB 367, and . . . Contact your state House representative and ask for their support and a “YES” vote on SB 725 and SB 1696. Follow this link to quickly find your Texas representatives based on your address, the responses include links to their webpages and email addresses -  http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx The 85th legislative session will end on May 29th, THAT’S ABOUT 6 WORKING DAYS! At some point prior to the 29th, the Texas legislature will have to vote on these bills, let's keep the pressure on them so that we get a YES vote.  Lunch Shaming in Texas needs to end, NOW! If we don't make this change happen with the 85th legislature then our next opportunity won't be until the 86th legislature meets in 2019!!! Politicians respond to media attention, even social media, so please, PLEASE, continue sharing, re-sharing, tweeting and re-tweeting links to this page and or the petition itself; they say the squeaky wheel gets the grease, I say let's SQUEAK, IN UNISON!                         NOTE - - NOTE - -NOTE - - NOTE - - NOTE The original petition has changed so significantly that I've decided to flip the text and place the updates on top and the original petition at the bottom.  The bills associated with this petition drive may have changed titles but the intent of this petition has never waivered, putting an end to lunch shaming in Texas schools.  Feel free to read the original petition below the "NOTE" line.                         NOTE - - NOTE - -NOTE - - NOTE - - NOTE While working as a substitute teacher in a Central Texas school district I witnessed a truly sad situation -- during breakfast, one of my 4-year-olds slid her meal tray down to the cashier in order to pay for her meal but instead what she heard was an emphatic “You have no money!” followed by the removal of her meal tray.   I live by my debit card and on this day I had absolutely no cash on me or I would have paid the $1.50 for the child's meal.  The student then sat at the table assigned to her class and was inconsolable for the next twenty minutes, while her classmates enjoyed their breakfast meals. This seems like cruelty on the part of the cashier, but sadly, she was just following school district policy in accordance with Texas law. There is a law on the books that requires any Texas school district in which students use a prepaid meal card or account to purchase school meals, to have a grace period during which students continue receiving meals even after their accounts are depleted. This is a good law, as school financial matters are adult business and should not result in a child going hungry. However, it fails our children in one area: each district is allowed to determine how long this grace period is, and, it turns out, it doesn’t have to apply to all meals offered at school. This was an error on the legislators’ part, and it must be changed to spare kids from such cruel embarrassment. Please join me in calling on the Texas legislature to amend the law to require all districts to continue providing all meals to students, regardless of account balance. Sadly, the district I am teaching in chose to adopt a one-lunch grace period, meaning they will provide one lunch after a child’s account is depleted. As for breakfast and other meals provided by the school, the student gets nothing. This is ridiculous. Studies have proven that children cannot learn when they are hungry, and everyone knows that suffering that kind of embarrassment in a school setting can be terribly upsetting for a child. I am not asking that parents and caretakers be absolved of their financial obligations. But repayment can be worked out among adults. Children are not the guilty parties in this scenario, and they should not be punished with hunger for mistakes their parents make. This petition requests that the law be amended so that children in schools that use prepaid cards or accounts to purchase meals receive uninterrupted access to all meals served at the school, regardless of their account balance.   Feel free to read the proposed amendment here, the new text that has been added is highlighted in green and the text to be removed is in red and has been struck through, the amended replacement text follows and is in black and bold.  I have tried to remain fiscally conservative and have changed as little as possible of the original HB 3562 - https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1hwY-fES_-2cnhDMVRKanVhUUE

Kelvin Holt
113,721 supporters
Petitioning Greg Abbott

Change the laws that discriminate against the autistic and mentally disabled.

Caregivers left my autistic sister, Rebekah, in a hot van for over five hours. When they finally found her, she was unconscious and clinging to life. A month later, she was dead. My family wants justice for wrongful deaths like Rebekah’s. In Texas, only the victim’s spouse, children, or parents can file a wrongful death suit. The mentally disabled often outlive their parents and seldom do they have spouses or children, so in cases like ours, they are left without justice. This limitation discriminates against people with disabilities and their loved ones by blocking their ability to seek civil, legal recourse. The caregivers at Sean Ashley House left my sister in a hot van to die, yet under Texas law, my family had no standing to file a wrongful death suit. This is wrong. Texas laws allow institutions, organizations, and people who neglect or harm the mentally disabled to stay in operation eliminating the threat of wrongful death suits. This means that disabled people are neglected, hurt and killed in Texas, and there is often little legal recourse, criminally or civilly.  We want Texas to give legal guardians of severely mentally disabled people the right to file wrongful death suits on behalf of the individuals they cared for. Disabled people are often put in danger by their caregivers. In fact just three days after Rebekah was found in hot van, caregivers left another person to die in a van in Dallas. The disabled victims of neglect deserve to have their voices heard even after they are gone. Why should their disability and their circumstance prohibit their families from seeking justice? For my family, it is too late, but this issue is larger than us. Ordinary people often have the opportunity to find a spouse and have a family. Sadly, for many severely disabled people, this is not the case. In a sense, disabled people are treated as second-class citizens. And in the case of their wrongful death, there is little legal recourse. Texas needs to change this discriminatory statute and allow guardians of the severely disabled to fight for justice for the ones they loved and cared for. Join me and tell Gov. Abbot and the Texas House and Senate to allow guardians to file wrongful death lawsuits for the people they loved, therefore holding those that killed them accountable. https://www.facebook.com/justiceforrebekah #JusticeForRebekah #BeTheirVoice #DisabledLivesMatter

Syleta Harkins
60,611 supporters
Petitioning Michael Arambula

Save Doctor Burzynski's Life-Saving Cancer Treatment

My name is Teresa Kennett.  I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and given less than a year to live by my oncologist who also told me that conventional treatment could not cure me but could only temporarily slow the progression of my form of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  I was a young mother with a three-month old baby girl.  Desperately I sought other solutions and found Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, whose non-toxic Antineoplaston treatment put my cancer into complete remission and saved my life.    That was over 27 years ago!  And I am not alone!  Over 1000 cancer  patients like Faye Joseph, MaryJo Siegel and myself (left to right above--Rita Starr, mother in remission over 20 years, Faye Joseph, in remission 4 years, Steve Siegel, Teresa Kennett, remission 27 years, Mary Jo Siegel remission 21 years) who previously received terminal diagnoses are alive today because they were treated by Dr. Burzynski.  But access to this successful treatment is threatened! Now the Texas Medical Board is bringing highly questionable charges against Dr. Burzynski in a proceeding scheduled to begin this Thursday, November 19. If charges are not dropped cancer patients will not have the freedom to choose this life-saving treatment. Please stand with me and sign the petition below to demand that all proceedings against Dr. Burzynski be halted immediately and all charges be dropped.     Whereas:  Dr. Stanislaw R. Burzynski is the discoverer of the Antineoplaston cancer treatment and has achieved spectacular results with it against a variety of brain tumors during 13 self-funded Phase II clinical trials sanctioned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and whereas   *  Dr. Burzynski has employed this treatment to save the lives of well over 1,000 cancer patients who had previously received terminal diagnoses, and whereas   *  The FDA has asked Dr. Burzynski to begin Phase III clinical trials using Antineoplaston treatment against DIPG brain tumors, known as diffuse intrinsic brainstem gliomas, which are almost always fatal, and whereas   *   Dr. Burzynski's 13 prior brain tumor clinical trials produced well-documented cures of brainstem gliomas, anaplastic astrocytomas, DIPGs and several other types of brain tumors, and whereas   *  Dr. Burzynski’s randomized controlled trials against colon cancers with liver metastases demonstrated a median survival time by patients treated with Antineoplastons-plus-chemotherapy almost three years longer than for patients treated with chemotherapy alone, and whereas   -- No other treatment, whether experimental or not, has ever produced results even approximating Dr. Burzynski's life-saving success rates, and whereas   *  Numerous patients in Dr. Burzynski’s private oncology practice have been treated successfully for many types of advanced cancers by using Antineoplastons in combination with cutting edge personalized precision medicines guided by human genome analysis, and whereas     *  No patient of Dr. Burzynski’s has ever been treated in FDA clinical trials without receiving written notice that Antineoplastons are officially considered experimental, and whereas   *  All patients are notified both in writing and in person that Antineoplastons and treatments using medications from the Antineoplaston group in combination with other drugs are not universally successful, and whereas   *  Dr. Burzynski has achieved all this despite decades of opposition and even criminal prosecution by the FDA, and despite numerous administrative obstacles repeatedly placed in his path by the Texas Medical Board, and whereas   *  A proceeding against Dr. Burzynski on highly questionable charges brought by the Texas Medical Board is scheduled to begin Nov. 19,   *  Now therefore, we the undersigned patients and supporters of Dr. Burzynski hereby demand that all proceedings against Dr. Burzynski and other physicians associated with him be halted immediately and all charges against them be dropped or dismissed.      

Supporters and Patients of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski
57,925 supporters
Petitioning Greg Abbott

Stop the Comanche Trail Pipeline

The movement to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline has helped demonstrate the entire nation that pipelines can have a lasting negative impact on our water, air, and land. Now the same company that is threatening Standing Rock’s water, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), is posing a similar risk to my community in El Paso, Texas. Join us and ask U.S. District Judge Frank Montalvo to stop this pipeline. The Comanche Trail Pipeline and it’s sister the Trans-Pecos will carry fracked gas from West Texas to Mexico, passing through biodiverse deserts and cross the Rio Grande river – and when they leak, they will poison plants, animals, and people living nearby. We are concerned that this pipeline, like so many before it, will leak into our groundwater. 73% of water in El Paso is used for crops in the community and is threatened by possible contamination, due to construction under multiple canals. The Comanche Trail pipeline will run 300 yards from family homes, risking the safety of children who want to play outside. Energy Transfer Partners has a history of putting profits before people, and disrespecting indigenous and communities of color who will be impacted by their extraction projects. We stand in solidarity with the indigenous-led Two Rivers Camp, who are organizing direct actions to stop this dangerous project. Please add your name to demand that U.S. District Judge Frank Montalvo stand for our health and safety above profit.

George Stoltz
52,430 supporters
Petitioning Greg Abbott, Greg Bonnen, Ted Cruz, Ted Poe, Charles Perry, Randy Neugebauer, Susan King, John Cornyn, Troy Fraser, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), animalservices@abilenetx.com ...

Get a law passed in the State of TX that prohibits chaining (tethering) of dogs.

A law should be passed to prohibit chaining (tethering) of dogs 24/7/365/all of their lives, because it is cruel, inhumane, and it is abuse.  Limiting chaining does not work, because it is not monitored. If a person is not standing with the dog, the dog should not be chained...period.   Chained dogs are kept out of sight & out of mind in the back yard, & are most of the time deprived of adequate food, water, & vet care in addition to having their emotional & social needs completely ignored. Chaining a dog for any length of time is one of the cruelest punishments imaginable for social animals that need & deserve companionship, exercise, & mental stimulation. Since 1979 chaining has been recognized as a contributing factor in dog attacks Federal & National Agencies have found.  Nearly 3 times more likely to attack than dogs not chained. Chained dogs are totally vulnerable to other animals & cruel people.  Many have been stolen, set on fire, shot, stabbed, tortured, or poisoned by cruel passersby or neighbors who were annoyed by their barking.  Chaining dogs is not only a animal welfare issue, but a public safety hazard as well.   Chained dogs make housing values decrease & make the neighborhood a less desirable area to live in.  Chained dogs bark more often than a non-chained dog.  Chained dogs are not neutered, therefore adding to more dog abuse.  Chained dogs cause other yards to be infested with fleas & ticks, because they are not sprayed as they should be nor do they get the baths they need. 16 Cities in Texas already has a ban on chaining dogs, and this law should be passed in the entire State of Texas immediately. City councilmen state they do not have the funds to hire more animal control or police if this law were to pass, and assume more dogs will be surrendered to Animal Services.  Statistics from the Texas Humane Society Legislature show that after 3 months of this law being passed, dog surrenders decrease. Fines paid to the city from dog owners that still refuse to obey this law gives the city more funds to deal with the abused dog issue.  There is the other argument that some people do not have fences or the money to build a fence.  I say, put the dog in the house or do not get a dog. There are many ways to help people get a fence for their dogs, and every city can figure out the best way to accomplish this goal in helping the poor.  Then, there are dog owners that already have fences, but still chain their dogs up 24/7.  Some dogs are hard to keep inside of a fence & there are dog pulley's for those types of dogs.  Dogs should not have to live on chains 24/7, because their owners do not want the responsibility of having a dog.  Chained up & neglected is not the way we should treat our dogs.  We are family to dogs and they should be treated as such.  If someone wants a dog to chain up all it's life, they should not get a dog and they should be fined or jailed if they do. Can you imagine being chained up all day long...all night...day after day....week after week...month after month...year after year...until you die?  A dog has no life being chained up all the time, so it would be better off dead than to go through the torture of living its entire life on a chain which is another word for solitary confinement.  A chained dog cannot run, jump, play, exercise, chase squirrels, chase a ball, run across the yard after a rabbit, or anything a dog was created for.  Instead, they live silently on their chain barking, begging, pleading, & crying for their owners to acknowledge they are alive and need their love and help. Please sign this petition....pass it on....share it to everyone you know and lets get this law passed in Texas to show our pets we care.  We are despicable people for allowing this abuse to go on as long as it has, and it is time for us to do something about it and end this abuse.  It is a shame that it takes a petition in order to get our city council, senators, & representatives of Texas to acknowledge chaining as abuse, to have the compassion to do something about it, and the courage to make it a law.            

Debbie Alexander
48,654 supporters
Petitioning Joaquin Castro, Greg Abbott, Ted Cruz, Julian Castro, United States Supreme Court, President of the United States, Texas State Senate, Texas Governor, Texas State House, John Cornyn, Louie Gohmert,...

Recreational & Medicinal Marijuana Legalization In Texas

We are in a new day and age where marijuana has been proven to cure and prevent cancer, seizures, parkinson's disease, glaucoma and more. We need to come together and make the legalization of marijuana available to our great fellow Texans who are in need of this plant. So please join me and other great Texans make it happen. Cause remember we the people can make anything happen if we come together and make our voices heard.

Francisco Hernandez Jr
32,739 supporters
Petitioning Dan Patrick

END EGREGIOUS FINES, FEES AND PENALTIES BY TOLL ROADS THROUGH LEGISLATION or LITIGATION.

LEARN MORE HERE: http://www.texastolllawsuit.com & https://www.facebook.com/texastollwayslawsuit/ The State of Texas, the Governors office and indeed the entire state legislature has perpetrated a crime against the citizens of the Great State of Texas! This petition is the result of the backlash building against Toll Roads in Texas. It's happened to you...FINES from the Toll roads that leave you feeling helpless! You are horrified to learn that a few dollars in Toll Road use fees have turned into hundreds or even THOUSANDS of dollars in fines and the toll authority won't work with you. You may have even been sued, lost your ability to register your car or even been arrested? A Convoluted system of Toll Roads in Texas exists with more than 5 different agencies each billing you for use of "their" roads. You can drive around Houston (for example) and be billed by at least 3 different toll agencies. Worst of all many toll roads in Texas are operated independently of government in Austin by private-public partnerships created through political wrangling by state legislation more than a decade ago. This has left Texans with public-private roads masquerading as State Highways. That's right folks, roads that are privately owned while the State of Texas has stopped building anything with our Tax money! These quasi-government agencies are managed by elected officials and private business owners and together they are lining the pockets of fat-cat businessmen with your money. Roads are supposed to be built with tax dollars paid in as Gas Tax but Austin is diverting Gas Tax money  True harm is coming to Texas citizens in the form of egregious fines , harassment, loss of driving privileges, an inability to register vehicles. These and other grievances are being brought by citizens against the current legislated Toll Road system through legislative change or direct litigation. The ultimate tool to let the state know that we, the citizens of Texas no longer support Toll Roads is to petition for a referendum to hear our grievances. State lawmakers MUST agree to listen to our grievances and correct the problems through substantial legislative change to the operation and revenue collection of all Toll Roads in Texas.  If the State will not listen and act, we are prepared to file what may become the largest Class Action Lawsuit in Texas History and seek legal remuneration including injunctive, compensatory, special and incidental damages from the state. Texas Toll Roads are bringing harm to Taxpayers in the form of actual financial harm, frustration, anger, and other harms at an unprecedented level. WE THE PEOPLE DEMAND: 1.  There should be one tolling agency statewide. 2.  Legal Loopholes must be closed to prevent abuse by the "private" for-profit part of Toll road operations. Their nature is in conflict with your right to drive. A set of laws that CLEARLY define, limit and control Toll Roads must be established. 3.  The power to fine, sue and charge excessive fees must be severely limited and prevent economic harm against Texans created by the Legal Loopholes that are used against us. 4.  The creation of protections (A Bill of RIghts) for Citizens against Toll road atrocities. 5.  A Clear and concise operating charter for Toll Roads with a moral duty clause that makes it illegal to work and establish any Toll Project or operating guidelines that would bring economic harm against a Texas Citizen created by the system itself. 6.  The exposure of profits, peoples names and other information by Regional Mobility Authorities. 7.  The the abolition of any and all future toll roads. 8.  Stop diverting Gas Tax money to other programs. 9.  The classification of a "toll" as a "Tax" by admission of the State.  10.  The immediate development of a Gas Tax plan to pay for roads and "Sunset" (eliminate" toll roads within 5 years. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Citizens are sued in an administrative court where the plaintiff (Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson law firm is paying for the Judge to hear the case on behalf of themselves, a private for profit law firm with a very disturbing history of fraud, deceit and other crimes. http://money.cnn.com/interactive/pf/debt-collector/texas-politics/ . These are the people who your state sends you to to sue you! They are in business to make a profit. Administrative judges they use are often paid 2 to 3 times the normal pay for a judge at this level and the preponderance of the evidence agrees that citizens are found guilty in more than 95% of all cases. Most cases are won on technicality and the penalty does not match the crime making toll road fines a clear violation of the;  The 8th amendment of the constitution of the United States and the section 13 of the Texas State Constitution which bar the collection of excessive fines. The state of Texas has created legislation that allows it to outsource toll violations and assess unbelievably egregious fines against its' own citizens in a manner that is harmful to citizens. That harm is not chartered within the state constitution. All laws are to be chartered for the benefit of the people not against them. This situation was created when; Put simply, the system harms citizens financially and therefore violates the Texas Constitution and the United States Constitution. The State lawmakers, our employees, have created a system that prosecutes citizens for even accidental infractions on our toll roads that are prosecuted by private law firms, not the State of Texas additionally; The toll violation system clearly violates the Due Process Guarantee contained within the Texas Constitution, The state may have failed to meet its' evidentiary burden  by any citizen from a civil penalty and administrative reprocessing fees applied against a vehicle owner under the under the process authorized by law. More specifically this means that private citizens are being sued by someone other than the State of Texas for toll road violations. Many complain of never receiving notice which violates their right to due process. Once the charges are sent to the third party collection firm, they assess egregious fines and fees that harms citizens egregiously because the fines are more than 50 times the actual toll charges. This is far beyond anything allowed by consumer credit lawsuit. By its very nature, a private law firm has a conflict of interest in filing lawsuits on behalf of the State against private citizens in administrative courts. Furthermore, the private lawfirm Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP as well as other firms use "administrative Courts" to sue private Citizens which are essentially courts for hire by the lawfirm. And Linebarger in particular is a nasty one! http://money.cnn.com/interactive/pf/debt-collector/texas-politics/ . All Tolling authorities are required to operate under TXDOT but TXDOT does not have total control over the independent agencies that toll all of us and this lack of defined, well written legal rules allows too much leeway within each toll road agency to operate independently. Reciprocal agreements between agencies are completely inadequate to protect citizens, causing thousands of tax paying citizens to be sued, spend too much personal time dealing with toll issues and no clear means of resolving issues in a timely or easy manner. When someone using a different tolling agency has a tag malfunction, fines are assessed immediately and the burden of proof of innocence is pushed back onto the taxpayer citizen who must fight to have the fees removed, taking substantial time or concede and pay fines that are automatically assessed. This is insanity in the 21st century. Each agency has no way to look up the license plates of other agencies. They also do not attempt to re-bill 3 times as they do with their own customers. They will instead often waive some fees if you agree to get an account with that agency essentially bribing you to leave your old agency to reduce the fees easily. This is unacceptable. It may even violate the FTC Deceptive Trade and Practiced Act. It can cause harm to any company or agency or individual who travels as you cannot have two tags on your windshield or they will potentially both read. What is a citizen to do? They are to demand the State fix this issue. The issue is that the private parties operating the toll roads each want their money! Toll road revenue is being used to build new toll roads to collect even more fees from citizens of the State of Texas. Tolling should not be allowed to perpetuate itself by making loans to other tolling agencies to build more Toll Roads. As an example, HCTRA loaned $20 million dollars to another http://www.chron.com/news/transportation/article/Harris-County-OKs-20M-loan-for-MoCo-toll-road-5997311.php that it earned from fees on the Beltway 8 Toll Road in Houston! If the Beltway 8 project is paid for, per the advertisement on the bond sold to the residents of Harris County, the Beltway 8 Toll Road was to become Free once paid for!. Yes, it was supposed to be free once paid for. Harris County has NOT kept its word with the citizens of the City of Houston. This is treasonous and malicious intent to defraud. Beltway 8 is a cash cow for the City who continues to increase taxes. Harris County is making money hand over fist off of tolls yet they continue to raise property taxes...why? Because it is never enough and nobody is stopping them! Gas Taxes could lower toll road fees, pay off other debts or improve schools but instead it is being funneled to Toll us even more. Toll Roads are a form of Double Taxation. The State of Texas continues to abuse Gas Tax revenue by channeling it to non-road projects. This is a serious breech of the definition of the what the Gas Tax is for. We must stop the legislation in the State of Texas from earmarking Gas Tax money for special projects that have nothing to do with roads! Using a Gas Tax uniformly taxes all citizens for roads instead of an undue burden for those that live in a city. Texas gas tax has not changed in decades and remained steady at 20 cents per gallon - yet we have the 2nd largest state in the union and an enormous road system to maintain. Most other states are at 27 to 30 cents per gallon. So we are diverting Gas Taxes away from Roads. Representative Doug Miller introduced SB 1110 (in 2013), that heists property taxes (through appraisal increases) for transportation projects and expands the use of Transportation Reinvestment Zones (TRZ) from strictly FREEways to toll roads, rail, transit, and dedicated bike lanes. WE"RE DIVERTING GAS TAX AWAY FROM TOLL ROADS AND THIS GUY WANTS TO TAKE YOUR PROPERTY TAXES TO MAKE UP FOR THE TAX SHORTAGE ON ROADS - THAT ARE BEING TAKEN FROM GAS TAXES. ROBBING PETER TO PAY PAUL.  Harris County has commandeered our Freeway lanes for additional revenue which should be a crime. Toll Road fees are egregious. They are charging as much as $400 per month for a driver to travel to and from work downtown and back to Katy 5 days a week. That is more than the cost of a new Honda Accord per month! It is egregious. Toll road fines are an abomination. Current Legislation does not go far enough TXDOT, NTTRA, HCTRA, TXTAG the State of Texas ETC MUST give everyone a chance to voice their complaints and seek relief in the form of compensatory, injunction and punitive damages against all of the agencies, their law firms and private tolling companies. It is vital that you speak up and express your concerns to drive corrective action against one of the most corrupt and abusive institutions within the state by signing this petition. Another complaint observed is the "License Plate" issue where citizens buy new cars and have a hard time getting the actual metal plates after purchase. For example: Buying cars out of state. If your plate is not associated with your account within 30 days, you will be fined and sued under the current law. Fines are higher than allowed under Federal Credit laws that consumers are protected by. These federal laws include the Fair Debt Collections Act, Deceptive Trade and Practices Act and the FCRA or Fair Credit Reporting Act, as well as others. Texas also has strict debt collection practice laws but none of them adequately provide extension for protections for toll road operations. Unless we collectively stand firm and sue, they will continue to harm citizens and cause thousands of hours of lost productivity to corporations across the state dealing with the extreme incompetence, negligent and even hostile activities conducted against private citizens. Additionally most Texans do not recognize that Toll Roads are become more mainstream than tax-money paid construction projects. There is a serious issue with the growth of Toll Road construction even with the increased revenue from taxpayers and toll revenues. Toll Roads are getting first priority for construction in potential or needed growth areas instead of Tax funded projects because the state is not spending tax money on roads as they should! This means that the State is earning greater revenue by tolling your ability to drive instead of using the money they collect in your taxes to pay for construction and maintenance of roads. All together, these and other issues MUST be dealt with swiftly by WE THE PEOPLE before they get out of hand. What kind of world allows a free highway to install toll booths only for the overpasses and the rest stays free? Why is it that inter-agency cooperation does not protect your ability to drive without fear of penalty on other agency roads? Please take a moment to tell us what you have experienced AND to let us know how we can stop this together. Together we can greatly change the oversight and toll road authority ability to tax, charge and build toll roads and help keep driving free or reduce the cost of driving by strong legislation to keep the tolling authorities and legislators in check.

Texas Toll Road Class Action Lawsuit
22,705 supporters
Petitioning Texas Commision of Environmental Equality

Help us clean up our water

Help us clean up our water For over a decade, our community of Bridge City, Texas has been suffering from poor water quality. The residents, people like my family, are paying the price. City officials were slow to act and finally told us that there are dangerously high levels of iron and manganese in our water due to improper filtration. This has turned water brown, ruined appliances that use water, and worst of all, impacted our health. At the current levels, iron and manganese can be toxic. Symptoms of toxicity mimic those of Parkinson’s disease like tremors and stiff muscles. It can lead to hypertension, interfere with absorption of dietary iron, and may result in iron-deficiency anemia. These are just some of the known health consequences. The situation is so bad, Erin Brockovich has been calling attention to our plight. The advocate, whose fight to help victims like us was made into a movie starring Julia Roberts, has called for action. Until action is taken and our water is cleaned up, we have to spend our own money buying bottled water for cooking, bathing, and washing. Everyone has the right to clean drinking water. We need your help to get local officials to act now. Please tell the city of Bridge City, Texas to clean up our water. Sign and share our petition today.

Clean Water for Bridge City
19,824 supporters
Petitioning Greg Abbott

Tell Texas not to turn their back on the victims of oppression, war, and terrorism

Recently, Gov. Greg Abbott withdrew Texas from the federal Refugee Resettlement Program. This means the 2nd largest state in the country will turn it’s back on all refugees that have been screened and vetted to come to the US. The decision is contrary to our values as Texans and Americans, as well as the basic human rights of those seeking refuge from suffering and oppression. There is still time. The request will not go into effect until January 31, 2017. By signing this petition you are calling on Gov. Abbott to rescind his request to withdraw from the Refugee Resettlement Program and focus on how to safely increase future refugee resettlement in Texas. Gov. Abbott’s cites security fears around the vetting process for refugee applicants as the reason for withdrawal. While no program has a 100% guarantee, the current system has a proven track record of successful vetting. The rigorous and extensive vetting process of the U.S./U.N. resettlement program - a process involving multiple U.S. government agencies and lasting 1-2 years on average - has proven to be safe and effective. Since 1975, the program has resettled 3 million refugees in the US. The system is designed to keep terrorists out and help people in desperate need. While legally the governor cannot stop refugees from coming into Texas, the withdrawal request means he can stop the state government from helping. We believe the most effective, safe, and successful method for refugee resettlement involves the coordinated efforts of federal, state, and local governments along with non-profit/private sector organizations. In other words, we believe we can do this better together than apart. We believe Gov. Abbott can lead Texas on another path - a path that will find itself on the right side of history and maintains the Texas values that have been in place for decades. For nearly 40 years, Texas has participated and even led the nation in resettling refugees. For nearly 40 years, Texas’ elected officials helped our state earn the banner of southern hospitality at a profoundly deep level as our state has become a safe haven for tens of thousands of men, women, and children fleeing violence and who have no home - no country - to return to. We believe that Governor Abbott can not only carry on this Texas tradition of caring for our fellow man, but that he can lead our great state - and thereby the nation - into a new era of providing a safe haven for the oppressed families around the world.

Sarah L. & Richard B.
16,928 supporters