Safe, reliable and most of all affordable electricity has been a top priority of Representative Sylvester Turner since the state passed the electricity deregulation law of 1999. Representative Turner has been a tireless advocate for robust consumer protections ranging from summer moratoriums of electricity disconnections during dangerously hot summers, to advocating consumer guarantees for flexible payment options and deferred payment plans during financial hardships. He has continuously been one of the state’s preeminent leaders fighting efforts to secure electricity bill discounts of up to 20 percent through the System Benefit Fund for low-income families. He has advocated for the most stringent protections for critical care, and elderly residents because of their unique dependence on electricity to protect their lives.
A key criminal justice priority for Rep. Turner is ensuring that men and women released from prison do not return. In 2009, over 72,218 men and women were released from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice back to their communities. Without successful reintegration, many of these men and women will not succeed in the free world. The reality in Texas is that most men and women return to communities in which they are faced with a lack of services and structure essential to their successful reintegration. In addition, many are released into communities without the skills and tools necessary to support themselves, which significantly contributes to the state’s high rates of recidivism. In his quest to create a more supportive and structured system to reintegrate individuals, Rep. Turner authored key legislation, which received significant bi-partisan support in the 2009 Texas Legislature.
HB 2161 | HB 1711 | TDCJ Reentry Coordinators | Information on Reentry and Integration
There are an estimated 1.5 million uninsured children in Texas, making our state first in the nation with the highest percentage of children living without health coverage for more than 10 years running. While Texas enjoys being first in a number of areas, lack of health coverage is not one we should aspire, or accept. Children without health insurance are more likely to miss school due to an illness because they do not have access to preventative health care provided through regular physician visits; as a result parents are more likely to miss work caring for them, impacting our state’s economic well-being. A lack of health insurance coverage for our poorest children affect us all, and jeopardizes our state’s most valuable asset, our children and our future.