For Immediate Release February 8, 2017
Are UT Dell Medical School and Sen. Kirk Watson
Misspending Central Healthcare Hospital District Funds?
Austin, 2:30 pm: UT Dell Medical School appears to be misspending taxpayer dollars committed to the Central Healthcare Hospital District. If they are, this raises serious questions about potential violations of law and the public trust, so says longtime reform attorney, Fred Lewis and former State Senator Gonzalo Barrientos (D-Austin). Linda Curtis of Independent Texans is raising questions about her own State Senator, Kirk Watson’s law firm having benefited from it.
From UT’s own financial records, the reports shows 84% of all UT Dell Medical School compensation is paid for with Central Health funds and the vast majority of these expenditures are going to personnel who do not provide any health care of any kind.
Linda Curtis of Independent Texans PAC said, “Everyone knows that Senator Watson has been the leading cheerleader for building the medical school, which is fine. However, when he failed to pass legislation in 2011 (SB 821) to authorize Central Health to help pay for medical education, I believe he continued to find ways to get his way. Senator Watson nor UT can now claim that in 2012, when Travis County voters gave the Health District the right to increase property taxes, they also gave them the power to do what SB 821, in its failure, did not do for them. Spending tens of millions of dollars per year — for things other than health care — is a rip off of low-income citizens, not to mention all who are paying for it.”
Lewis remarked that, “No other hospital district in Texas, to our knowledge, has funded a medical school’s non-health care services. Hospital districts typically contract with medical schools to provide health care for the poor, but no hospital district other than Central Health funds non-health care services of medical schools.”
Former longtime State Senator for the Austin area, Gonzalo Barrientos, helped draft the bill that passed in the 2003 legislative session to allow for the creation of the Central Healthcare Hospital District. Barrientos commented, “My intent in passing the law that we passed in the legislature was to create a district that medically treated poor people, not tomorrow, not next week, not next year but right now when they’re hurting.”
Senator Kirk Watson is a partner at Husch Blackwell LLP. The firm represents Central Healthcare Hospital District and has paid the firm over $3 million.
For More Information:
Linda Curtis, 512-657-2089
Fred Lewis, 512-636-1389
Independents — now 42% of America — will decide this election. This is especially true in Hays County as more and more Millennials (the majority of whom now identify as independents) have moved to Hays County seeking the affordability that would allow them to raise a family.
QUESTION: Guess who is trying to saddle this generation with the $237.8 million additional debt for an unnecessary jail expansion and roads to nowhere — Props 1&2?
Answer: The Hays County Commissioners Court – led by Commissioner Will Conley.
Conley even had the nerve to defend Hays County’s official Facebook page deleting posts from citizens raising questions about their taxes AND Props 1 & 2.
Conley just said in open court that for the county to answer these questions, “would be a waste of taxpayer money.” (Click on the 40 second video and see for yourself).
Vote No on Props 1 & 2 and help us reach voters with this half-page handy flier.
You can print it out and take it to the polls or we can get you some.
Of course, lots of great information has been gathered for you to share from the SaveHays.com website.
Those little fliers can make a huge difference if you hand ’em out right there at your poll site as folks will be standing in line. Just make sure you stay outside of the 100 foot marker.
Thank you, Hays Countians!
The Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District meeting tonight at 6 pm at Bastrop City
Hall (1311 Chestnut) is one of the most important meetings you’ll ever attend.
There has been much confusion about End Op, Forestar, Vista Ridge (the San Antone Hose) and so many other water deals for a reason. The Simsboro is under siege.
We live in an area of the state where the goose that laid the golden egg — our groundwater — is about to get choked to death. Others of you who live along the I-35 growth corridor are also about to get choked to death with mounting debt for infrastructure to make sure that we keep bringing masses of people here as quicklly as possible to feed the growth lobby. Simsboro water is integral to this “growth machine.”
Lost Pines GCD has also been under siege as well, and they are buckling. That shouldn’t surprise anyone. What is surprising is that we — residents and landowners — are not only still standing, we’re still fighting for the incoming and next generation — not to mention our property rights, ecosystems and local economies.
Bring donations small or large for the new non-profit Simsboro Aquifer Water Defense Fund and get ready for a whole new ballgame in the courts!
Quick note about the Bastrop City Council meeting last night: The petition games have started with lots of silliness to go around. Councilwoman Deborah Jones acted like she knew nothing about the “filers” of the petition — Independent Texans — or who I am. If memory serves us…here she is speaking at our candidate forum on April 18th sitting not 5 feet from me, the moderator.
Yes, we made a big mistake not endorsing Kelly Gilleland in that race. Bastrop is now paying for it but don’t worry, we will make amends in November and beyond with a whole new crop of people who are starting to pay attention.
Looking forward to seeing you tonight!
P.S. If you live in the city of Bastrop, please make plans to attend the next city council meeting — next Tuesday at 6:30 pm. More soon.