Veterans who have burn injuries can now ask their utility companies for discounts, no matter where in Texas they reside now that the Burned Veterans Bill has passed in the Legislature.
State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte sought to expand the benefits of a bill passed in the last session to the statewide population of burned veterans.
The bill allows investor-owned utilities, municipal co-ops and retail electric providers to establish discount programs similar to the one that has proven so successful in San Antonio the last couple of years.
Lawmakers managed to postpone a high-stakes testing bill on the first Friday the Senate has worked this session.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said it was an agreement in principle that the Senate would take up and pass a House bill being carried by Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, which reduces the number of end-of-course exams from 15 to five.
"But apparently a number of members - principally Democrat, but some Republicans - had not been in the meeting and felt like they had not been briefed enough. And I understand that, I understand that," Patrick said.
The idea behind Senate Bill 94 was to hurt human traffickers by shutting down their internet connection to customers. The law was intended to stop websites from selling ads for sex.
The women, who are often underage, are trafficked for sex, their traffickers get the money, and the websites also get a cut. The Aim Group, an online media analyst, estimated that Backpage.com took in $22 million last year from escort advertising.