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Texas Matters: Crisis at Child Protective Services, rejected ballots and fossil fuel divestment warning

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FILE PHOTO: The sun is seen behind a crude oil pump jack in the Permian Basin in Loving County
ANGUS MORDANT
/
REUTERS
Texas Senate Bill 13 prohibits the state from contracting with or investing in companies that divest from oil, natural gas and coal companies.

On Thursday the Texas Senate held a hearing to probe allegations that staff members at The Refuge, a Bastrop-based residential treatment center were sex trafficking girls who were placed there.

Sen. Jose Menendez, a San Antonio Democrat. sits on the new Special Committee on Child Protective Services. He says solutions are needed for the entire Texas foster care system which is deeply troubled.

Ballots Tossed

Texas threw out mail votes at an abnormally high rate during the recent primary. Texas rejected nearly 23,000 ballots. This was because of tougher voting rules that are part of a broad campaign by Republicans. This finding is from analysis by The Associated Press.

Paul J. Weber is an AP reporter on the story.

SB13 Investment Warnings

This week Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar sent letters to 19 financial firms warning them about violating Senate Bill 13 – which was passed in the last legislative session. The law prohibits the state from contracting with or investing in companies that divest from oil, natural gas and coal companies.

Hegar is looking to see if these firms are “boycotting” fossil fuel companies. And if they are Texas would divest from them – pulling billions of dollars in state pensions and education endowments.

Sustainable energy investment experts have their own warning that Texas is basing its investment strategy on politics and not economic trends.
Leslie Samuelrich is President of Green Century Capital Management.

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David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi