E-News from the Office of Senator Van de Putte
I hope this e-news finds you doing well. I am writing to send you updates on important national issues and helpful information too.
What the Economic Stimulus Plan Means to You
This month the Congressional Democrats worked in a bipartisan effort, with the Republican Congress members and President Bush to enact an economic stimulus plan which invests $152 billion into our nation. The goal provides relief to our working families and benefits our seniors and disabled veterans in an effort to boost the economy.
Beginning in May, millions of households will receive checks or direct deposits of $300, $600, $1,200 or more. Individuals earning less than $75,000 annually will receive a check for up to $600, while couples earning less than $150,000 annually will receive up to $1,200. Additionally, families will receive $300 for each child younger than 17.
The IRS will determine your family's rebate based on your 2007 tax return. The majority of those who qualify will not have to do anything more than simply file. The IRS will then distribute the funds to the same address or account number that tax refunds were sent. Those people who file their taxes early and electronically will receive the payments sooner (it is estimated all rebates will go out this summer).
Workers who can verify earnings of at least $3,000 in 2007 and have little to no tax liability will be eligible for a rebate of $300, but they must file their taxes. Likewise, seniors, disabled veterans and veteran widows' who can verify $3,000 in Social Security or veteran disability benefits in 2007 are eligible to receive payments of $300.
With a declining market, we are being afforded an opportunity to jumpstart our economy, while ensuring our families receive the help they need.
Women Veterans’ Healthcare Improvement Act
With so many of our beloved veterans and military families residing in San Antonio, I want to highlight an important federal bill which was heard last month by the U.S. House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health, but has yet to come up for a vote.
The Women Veterans Healthcare Improvement Act (H.R. 4107) would require the secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) to conduct a 10-year health study on female veterans who served on active duty in the combat theatres of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. The bill would assess the quality of and improve services for women veterans’ general health, mental health, reproductive health and mortality. Specifically, it would report on programs for women veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), homelessness, substance abuse, mental illness and pregnancy care. The bill would also vastly improve care for sexual trauma survivors in the military and offer a pilot program for women receiving mental health care treatment.
The number of female veterans is growing exponentially; and the improvements contained in this bill are long overdue, as women veterans have been expected to fit into a health care system that was originally designed for male veterans. I currently serve as Chair of the Texas Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Military Installations and I also serve for the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) as the Heart to Heart Veterans Team Leader for Texas. In this capacity, I urge you to please contact your US representative and encourage him or her to sign as co-sponsor of H.R. 4107, the Women Veterans’ Healthcare Improvement Act, and support its passage. The brave women who answer the call deserve no less.
To find out who represents you in Congress, go to www.capitol.state.tx.us, and enter your address under who represents me.
San Antonio Bakery Products Recalled
La Familia Bakery, located on Flores, in San Antonio is recalling all of its packaged products because some of them contain nuts, milk and other allergens that are not listed on the packages. Texas Department of State Health Officials believe that product distribution was limited to convenience stores in the San Antonio, Pearsall and Devine areas.
The recalled products include cookies and Mexican sweet bread (pan dulce). They are sold in clear, twist-tied, plastic bags that contain the company name.
Officials said some of the product labels should have listed pecans or other nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy and FD&C yellow #5, a food coloring. Anyone who has one of the recalled products should not consume if they are allergic to these ingredients.
Please feel free to contact my office regarding any of the above information; and please have a safe and happy week!
HOW TO CONTACT SENATOR VAN DE PUTTE
700 N. St. Mary's St. #1725
San Antonio, Texas 78205
(210) 733-6605 - fax