News Release from the office of Senator Carlos Uresti

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 23, 2009
CONTACT: J.A. Lazarus at 512-463-0119

SEN. URESTI’S FIRST FILED BILL OF THE 81st SESSION FOCUSES ON BEXAR MET REFORM

AUSTIN, Tex. — State Senator Carlos I. Uresti emphasized his ongoing commitment to comprehensive Bexar Met reform today by filing Senate Bill 514, creating a conservatorship for the Bexar Metropolitan Water District. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will appoint a conservator with demonstrated expertise who will oversee the implementation of district reforms.

“Senate Bill 514 will bring stringent supervision and reform to Bexar Met. My bill represents the culmination of months of work by TCEQ, the State Auditor’s Office, and the oversight committee. SB 514 allows Bexar Met to be reformed by a conservator appointed by the TCEQ. When fully rehabilitated, control of the districts assets and management returns to the district's board" Uresti stated.

SB 514 is the culmination of Senator Uresti’s efforts to reform the troubled water district during and since the 80th Legislature, including his sponsorship of HB 1565, and 18 months of public hearings, study, and recommendations for district improvement as co-chair of the Joint Oversight Committee on the Bexar Metropolitan Water District.

During the interim, the State Auditor’s office and TCEQ produced detailed reports on the district’s finances, management, and operations. The reports also made numerous recommendations for district reform, all of which were included in the oversight committee’s report to the Senate and House Natural Resources Committees.

To view the oversight committee’s report to the legislature, please go to the committee’s web page, accessible under “Committees” on the Texas Senate web page at www.senate.state.tx.us. The full text of the bill is also available at www.capitol.state.tx.us.

Carlos I. Uresti is the senator from State Senate District 19, a 23 county area stretching along the U.S.-Mexico border, from San Antonio to El Paso County, including all or part of the following counties: Bandera, Bexar, Brewster, Culberson, Crockett, El Paso, Edwards, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Kinney, Loving, Maverick, Medina, Pecos, Presidio, Real, Reeves, Sutton, Terrell, Uvalde, Val Verde, Ward, and Winkler. Covering 55,000 square miles, the district contains 62 school districts, over 700,000 residents and spans two time zones. As the largest geographical senate district in the contiguous 48 states, Senate District 19 is larger than 24 states and 25 countries.

For more information, please contact J.A. Lazarus at 512-463-0119.

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