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Thursday, August 04, 2011


Okay, the time has come for some explaining. 

Read the following editorial from the yesterday's edition of The Dallas Morning News and explain how this could happen.  I'll be contacting my state legislators. 

As a non-profit executive, if I authorized the use of designated or restricted funds for a use not specified in the grant, award, contribution or contract to fund our work at CitySquare, I would be in big trouble with my Board, with the source of the funding and with the community.  At a minimum, I would be required to return the funds to their source. 

But for elected officials in Texas I suppose all you need to do is make up a new set of rules.  And, as usual, those who suffer the most and the most directly are the weakest, the most vulnerable, the poorest.  I'm listening for people of faith and fairness to rise up and put a stop to this sort of shameful behavior. 

As you'll read below, this is not the only program that gets cut by administrative policy and legislative slight of hand.  What makes this move so abhorent right now, beyond the obvious misdirection of funds, is the horrific heat wave that assaults the state.  Lives are at stake here, literally. 

Things need to change in this state. and in a big way.

Here's my reaction:  SHAMEFUL!

Editorial: Texans should be steamed about lawmakers' money tricks

When this month’s power bill arrives — the one pricier than your car payment — you probably won’t even notice the modest fee tacked on to help the poor and elderly keep their air conditioners on.

Six million Texas power customers pay a little each month to fund a program that provides utility-bill assistance to those who otherwise couldn’t afford to stay cool. An extra buck or so on your bill isn’t much to ask. And when it’s so hot that it feels like the sun might melt the hair off your head, who could argue with helping others survive the summer?

Texas lawmakers, apparently.

Read the entire editorial here.

For an earlier  full report on the issue you may want to click here.

Reactions encouraged.


Anonymous said...

That is about the only way to describe this ruse - shameful. If any private person did this, they would be facing class action claims for fraud and deceptive trade practices (the latter based on a statute passed by the Texas Legislature ), and could collect punitive or treble damages. Apparently the Texas Legislature is all about "do as I say, not as I do.'


Dean Smith said...

The greatest shame is the way the legislature changed the eligibility requirements to exclude over half of those that need this most. We witness this travesty every day at our Family Resource Center in Austin. A recent editorial even suggested that since this money isn't being used they should stop collecting it. No, what they need to do is expand the eligibility to help those that desperately need the help, especially during this brutally hot summer.

Larry James said...

Thanks, Ken and Dean for your comments.