Texas State Senate
Texas State Senate
Give All Disabled Children Medicaid
ALL DISABLED CHILDREN NEED MEDICAID At 4 months old, my daughter was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy consisting of Spastic Quadraplegia with Dystonia. Now, age 6, my daughter needs Physical Therapy (PT), Occupational Therapy (OT) and Speech Therapy. She is responding very well to therapy. Like many families that support disabled children, finances are always a struggle. No matter how hard you work, it's never enough to cover as much therapy as you want to give your child. These therapies are the only way our child will be able to be a fully functioning member of society in the future. The Problem: Medicaid takes the family's income into account when determining eligibility. For those who are neither poor, nor rich, every dollar goes to paying for therapy and equipment. It is a huge, constant struggle on the family and there is NEVER enough money. Every dollar goes to another therapy appt or piece of necessary equipment. The Resolution: For those in the middle, we do not ask for Disability payments, nor SSI payments. We simply need Medicaid to offset what insurance companies won't pay for — the therapy needed beyond the limits of private insurance, the equipment that insurance companies refuse to cover that is necessary for our children. We beg you to join us in fighting for these minimal benefits for our children to give them a fighting chance, and so they don't have to be on Federal Disability and SSI assistance when they turn 18. Help our disabled children become independent. We ask for ALL disabled children, regardless of family income to be eligible for Medicaid at no cost.
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
Create and pass a Texas law banning the use of hand held electronics while driving.
In the evening of April 9th, 2016, an accident occurred in Denton that took the lives of two mothers and two daughters. It happened so quickly that neither mother had a chance to brake. The accident took the lives of 41 year old Emma Lourdes Shaffer, 12 year old Emma "Tita" Shaffer, 26 year old Ashley Morgan, and 4 year old Lorelei Cotter. Two sons were left without their mother. Two men lost the loves of their lives. Young friends of the daughters had to learn hard lessons about life and death. An entire community was plunged into the depths of grief, and countless lives were changed forever. What was the cause of such a horrific accident? Phone usage while driving. You can read the details of the accident in this Denton Record-Chronicle article. The families and communities surrounding the Shaffers and the Morgan/Cotters are not alone in their grief. According to a report last year by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of eight people are killed and 1,161 are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver EVERY SINGLE DAY. And the number of traffic fatalities is sharply rising according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's recent announcement. You can read the details of those statistics in this Wall Street Journal article. We are grateful that the Texas Legislature passed laws prohibiting phone use by novice drivers, by bus drivers, and for all drivers while in school zones. But that is not enough. According to distraction.gov, 46 states have a law that at least prohibits texting and driving. Texas is one of the four that does not. It's time for Texas to protect its citizens. It's time for Texas to prevent more lives from being lost. It's time for Texas to take a stand. It's time to create and pass a Texas law banning the use of hand held electronics while driving This petition was created by the Champion Cheer Leadership Team in support of the Text Free for Tita campaign. The petition is being supported by the Cheer Athletics Icon program along with many other Texas cheerleading gyms who all felt the loss of Tita Shaffer from the All Star Cheerleading community.
Congress: Let all children of U.S. military service members reunite with their families
I’m Jenifer Bass, a U.S. Navy Veteran, who served for 10 years mostly in the Asia-Pacific region. It was due to my travel between ports in countries like Japan and Thailand, that I first encountered Amerasian children (and descendants) of U.S. sailors and military contractors previously stationed overseas. In the Philippines alone, more than 52,000-plus children were left behind after the U.S. Navy withdrew the last of its military personnel in 1992. Right now, the U.S. government won’t recognize them as U.S. citizens, despite having been born to an American parent. Many Amerasians are caught in a no-man’s land of discrimination and poverty -- most left behind by U.S. sailors who are unaware that they’ve fathered children overseas. My friend John Haines is one of these sailors. In 2011, John discovered he was the father of a half-Filipino daughter, Jannette. He attempted to reunite with her through the American Homecoming Act -- but was frustrated to learn that the Act did not apply to Filipino children of U.S. Service members. Today, all John wants is to be reunited with his daughter and grandchildren. He, like so many other veterans are living with a “hole in their hearts” as they search for ways to reunite with their children. There is hope. The Uniting Families Act of 2016 creates a specialized visa allowing military veterans and eligible civilian contractors to sponsor their children and grandchildren for U.S. citizenship. Blood relationship must be proven by DNA test and the total number of visas granted will be capped at 5,000 each year. The issue takes on more urgency as so many of our veterans from our wars in Southeast Asia are getting older and dying each day -- without the chance to reconnect with their own children. John’s daughter Jannette has already undertaken the DNA testing process, conclusively proving her relationship to her American father. All she’s waiting for is the opportunity to permanently reunite with her dad. You can find them in the Amerasian group pages on Facebook. Search angel services are available to both sides.There is a PBS documentary called "Left by the Ship" (2010), the video above, documenting everyday life and their personal struggles as a Filipino Amerasian on the never ending search for identity and their struggle to connect to their American military fathers, to bridge the gap between the past and the present. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2016 now!
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.
Ban the use of hand held electronic devices and texting while driving in Texas.
It's time for Texas to join the majority by passing a law to ban all drivers from texting while driving. As of February 2016, 46 states and the District of Columbia have laws banning text messaging for all drivers. Of the four remaining states two have no ban and two have a partial ban. One of those states is Texas; therefore, the state lawmakers understand there is a need to manage texting and driving. One in five accidents are caused by distracted drivers. This is not infringing on civil liberties. It is regulating the actions of persons unwilling to police themselves in order to protect the health and safety of other drivers and their passengers. In spite of Governor Perry's 2011 veto of a bill that would ban texting and driving and the Texas Senate failing to pass a ban on texting for all Texas drivers in 2015, 40 cities in Texas have passed ordinances to ban texting while driving. Some cities, like Houston, claim that the laws are difficult to enforce. However, they could use El Paso as a success model to implement in cities with difficulties. El Paso officers wrote 15,000 citations in less than two years following the city’s ban on texting and driving. The partial ban in Texas is a start. It consists of four parts. 1. Drivers under 18 are prohibited from using wireless communication devices. 2. Those with learner’s permits cannot use handheld cell phones for the first 6 months of driving. 3. School bus operators cannot use cell phones while driving if children are present. 4. All drivers are prohibited from using handheld devices in areas marked as school crossing zones. I urge Rep. Tom Craddick to continue on with his efforts to sponsor a bill to ban driving and typing on a hand-held device for the purpose of sending an electronic message, because this would cover social media site as well as traditional texts.
Rename West Road in Houston, Harris County Texas after Deputy Darren Goforth.
Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth was murdered on 8/28/2015 by a cowardly individual. Let's honor and remember our fallen hero by renaming West Road in Houston Texas and the Surrounding Harris County after Deputy Darren Goforth. Sign this petition to let your voice be heard. This country needs all the law enforcement officers and they need to know we indeed do care. Will You Be The Change?? An African American male shot a uniformed sheriff's deputy "execution-style" while he fueled his patrol car in the Houston area, killing him instantly, authorities said. Deputy Darren H. Goforth, 47, was returning to his car after pumping gas Friday night. The gunman walked up from behind him and opened fire for no apparent reason, Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said. When Goforth fell to the ground, the gunman stood over him and shot him some more, authorities said. He died at the scene. "He was literally gunned down in what appears to be an unprovoked, execution-style killing," Hickman said. "I have been in law enforcement for 45 years, I have never seen anything this cold-blooded." If you would like to contact us for support, Information, or to volunteer your time please email us at: email@example.com Updates are shared via our website: http://www.goforthrd.com PLEASE SHARE SHARE SHARE!!! #GoforthRd #RememberDeputyGoforth
Grant parole to the man who saved my life, Anthony Heath of Texas
On August 20, 2005 my life changed forever. I was 22-years-old and working as a correctional officer in an all-male maximum security prison in Tennessee Colony, Tx. I had been on the job for three weeks when I was brutally stabbed by an inmate and left for dead. No other officer in the prison came to my rescue, but an inmate selflessly helped me to safety and it’s time that man was granted parole. On the night of the incident, I was paroling the prison floor floor when another guard prematurely opened the bars, allowing an inmate, Robert Turner, to come up behind me and cut my throat. I had written up Turner for sexual misconduct and though he was up for parole, my report excluded his eligibility. He wanted to get even. If it weren’t for the two inmates who helped me get to the infirmary, I would have bled out. Anthony Heath is one of two inmates who saved my life. The other was released shortly after the incident. Anthony put himself in harm's way, disregarding what the other inmates might do or think, to respond to my cry for help. He asked for nothing in return and he still under fire for his action. For all of this, Anthony deserves freedom! Please join me in asking the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant Anthony Heath parole. I firmly believe he deserves a second chance at a life of his own. His life-saving actions prove he deserves freedom. Because after all God's word alone is proof he deserves a second chance by saving my life in total disregard to his own safety. John 15:12-13 My commandment, that you love one another as I loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. Update: I didn't put his charge in this petition at first not only out of respect for him and his family, but also to see how people would react. I have to say my faith in the American people has been restored. You found it your heart to sign even though you didn't know his charges. That we are grateful for. So now Anthony is in prison for murder. He was a 20 year old kid at his own business which happened to be where he also lived. A man almost ten years older than him drove up and asked to buy drugs. Anthony of course told him he didn't know what he was talking about which only angered the gentleman. He ended up hitting Anthony with his car and leaving. Not long after the man returned. As he saw him entering the parking lot, Anthony's friend whom was with him, asked if he needed his gun. Anthony being young and knowing the guy had already hit him with his car took it. Of course the man indeed had returned with a gun. He threatened Anthony's life again trying to force him to sell. When Anthony fired his weapon twice he did so only to injure him to make him stop but it did no good and the man kept coming at him, a scared kid, unloaded his weapon on him. Wouldn't you have done the same? At 20 I would have!! Hell I still would have. The judge claimed because he shot more than twice it was over kill even though his first two shots were to try and get the man to stop. Early 90's small white Texas town. Young black kid shot an older white man. He didn't have a chance. He was charged to be made an example of. Now Anthony has served over 20 years. He not only saved my life but he has completed every class the prison offers to promote his future. I happen to believe our justice system has turned the prison into another way for them to make money. They are no longer worried about rehabilitation. I believe this man deserves a chance at life because I believe he was robbed of the last 20 years. My opinion he should have never been in prison to begin with but even more so should have been released the moment he saved my life. He did not know me whatsoever. You see Anthony and the other inmate went through checkpoints that should have gotten them killed. But also other inmates you know as well as I do what danger his life has been in in the last well almost 11 years. The fact that they transferred him let's me know that they know what he did for me and that his life continues to be in danger. So please continue to share and spread the word. Again we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. God bless!!
Deadly Conditions in Texas Prisons
Imagine being locked in a concrete cell struggling to breathe for hours on end. This is a reality for many Texas prisoners. The stifling summer heat, which can cause temperatures to reach up to 130 degrees indoors, is unbearable. In these conditions, some might not survive, and since 2007, there have been at least 14 heat-related deaths in Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) prisons. Despite the heat-related fatalities, the TDCJ has done little to prevent prisoners and guards from baking in the Texas heat! Fans are typically provided as a solution, but they are ineffective. The Centers for Disease Control found that while fans help maintain comfort at temperatures below 90 degrees, they do not protect against heatstroke or heat-related injuries above 90 degrees with added humidity. Conditions in Texas regularly exceed these levels. I have seen firsthand the conditions Texas prisoners are subjected to. As a volunteer with a church outreach group, I have visited prison many times in the summer and often leave feeling dehydrated and exhausted from the heat. My son is currently incarcerated in Texas and he tells me that he is often not allowed to go outside in the summer -- and unbelievably, it is hotter inside the prison than outside. I believe prison should absolutely be punishment for crimes committed, but air conditioning is not a luxury; for some it is the difference between life or death. I ask you to please sign and share my petition asking the Texas Department of Criminal Justice & The BOP (Federal Prison) Seagoville FCI to immediately increase ventilation and install air conditioners across the state. Prisoners are human, too.
Counseling for minors awaiting trial in Texas
When my 17-year-old son was awaiting trial in the Dallas County Jail, I saw first hand the psychological repercussions of solitary confinement and the daily 23 hours of lockdown. While this penitentiary has a reputation for being a difficult place for teens awaiting trial, I was struck by the lack of support these kids were offered. While my son waited 9 months for his trial, he was in limbo. Because he was 17 years old he was tried as an adult, he therefore could not be placed in a juvenile facility or with adult inmates. It was a very challenging time for my whole family, and we did everything we could to help my son stay safe and sane. But, I knew he needed more. When I inquired about emotional support options, I was informed there weren’t any counseling professionals from the state or even a chaplain for the teenagers to talk to. They are still kids and given their current circumstances, many are very troubled! Why are we locking up vulnerable youth without any emotional support? Teenage hormones are raging, and fights are not uncommon. These kids are still awaiting trial, many may not even be found guilty. By reducing access to professional help, the state is hindering their ability to recover. Please join me in asking Texas lawmakers to provide adequate funding for professional counseling services to teenagers awaiting trial. We must ensure these kids have the mental and emotional strength for the long journey ahead.