Posts Tagged ‘Kirk Watson’
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
If you are a Bastrop County resident who lives in Cedar Creek, Red Rock or Rockne, you might not want to miss this meeting to discuss the plans to dump sewage sludge on 2,000 acres between FM 535, and Highways 20 & 21. (Click on the map for the full flier you can share).
Tuesday, June 28, 6:30 to 8 pm
VFW Hall, Rockne
1503 FM 20
This is an informational meeting organized by Independent Texans, not the TCEQ. That public meeting will come later — likely sometime in the next two months and was requested by State Representative Cyrier and State Senator Watson.
Tomorrow, we will give you the information we have gathered, our own opinions about it (and we are not experts, just concerned citizens) and Rep. Cyrier will lay out the process at TCEQ to make sure you know your rights.
Please feel free to invite area residents and to call us if you need more information before this meeting.
P.S. We could use some help at about 6 pm with set up or help at the end breaking down. Thanks all!
Update! Make sure to attend a meeting about this being held on Tuesday, June 28th, 6:30-8 pm at the VFW, 1503 Highway 20, Rockne, Texas — especially if you live in Rockne, Red Rock or Cedar Creek. Spread the word!
Did you see this in the Statesman about the plan to dump sludge in the flood plain of the Colorado River? This company just pulled out of Fayette County (due to citizen opposition) but they still have a permit application on file with the TCEQ to dump in Cedar Creek (Bastrop County).
This map might be a better copy for you.
Rep. John Cyrier and Sen. Kirk Watson have asked Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for a meeting for citizens to discuss the plan by Denali Water Solutions to dump treated sewage sludge (biosolids) from Austin’s Hornsby Bend on over 2000 acres of land in Bastrop County in the Cedar Creek floodplain.
It is VERY important that you post a request NOW yourself to the TCEQ to hold a public meeting on this subject and that you oppose it.
Simply request a public MEETING and tell them you oppose this or are concerned about it to the TCEQ at: (Note: be sure to use the permit number WQ0005197000).
Electronically (it’s faster) at: www14.tceq.texas.gov/epic/eComment/
Or via regular mail to:
Office of the Chief Clerk, MC 105
PO Box 13087
Austin TX 78711-3087
Click here for a poster to be shared with local businesses, citizens and neighbors.
More detailed information on this project can be found at this excellent site — a work in progress: DontSludgeBastrop.info.
PPS More on the water front next week — that is the plan by water marketing companies to take water out from underneath Bastrop, Lee, Milam and Burleson counties to the I-35 growth corridor. This week’s hearing went fine and Lost Pines took no action….yet.