PRESS RELEASE from the office of Senator Carlos Uresti

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: February 13, 2007
CONTACT: Ryan Sullivan
Office of State Senator Carlos Uresti
(512) 463-0119
Katharine Chambers
Office of State Representative Joe C. Pickett
(512) 463-0596

STATE REPRESENTATIVE JOE C. PICKETT AND SENATOR CARLOS URESTI JOIN TOGETHER TO PROTECT MISSING SENIOR CITIZENS

AUSTIN -- State Representative Joe Pickett filed House Bill 157, sponsored by Senator Carlos Uresti, to create a missing senior citizen alert system. Similar to the Amber Alert for missing children, the Department of Public Safety would issue an alert for a missing senior citizen by sending the alert to designated media outlets, such as television and radio, as well as notifying the Texas Department of Transportation to post the alert on message signs on designated roads and highways in Texas.

Rep. Pickett stated, "Certain seniors need more help than others. The most vulnerable are those who may be unable to help themselves, are in situations that they cannot control, are in dire need of medical attention or just need all of us to help them find their way. These are the ones we must protect."

Senator Uresti commented, "House Bill 157 protects the privacy and rights of senior citizens while strengthening protections for those who are disabled. I am proud to sponsor legislation that will help reunite missing seniors with their loved ones."

Karen R. Johnson, CEO and President of United Ways of Texas said, "United Ways of Texas applauds Representative Pickett and Senator Uresti for introducing this important piece of legislation for Texas seniors. As we know, our aging population numbers in Texas are increasing dramatically. The state must have the ability to quickly help senior citizens who become missing get back to their families safely. I believe the safeguards in the Substitute to HB 157 will assure that each missing person's event is handled properly."

House Bill 157 is supported by AARP, the Silver Haired Legislature, Alzheimer's Association Capital of Texas Chapter, and the United Way of Texas.

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