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State Unveils New Healthy Texas Women Website

Provides Easy Access to Information on Programs for Low-Income Women

AUSTIN – State Senator Jane Nelson, Representative Jim Keffer and Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek, M.D., today unveiled Healthy Texas Women, a new one-stop hub created to help women connect with family planning programs and other state services.

"Texas supports many health care programs and services for women, and this new website brings all those services in one place," Janek said. "We're incredibly grateful for the support Senator Nelson, Representative Keffer and other state leaders have devoted to this project."

The new site, www.healthytexaswomen.com, is available in English and Spanish. Visitors to Healthy Texas Women can “pick, submit and connect” to find information on available options for everything from general health care to breast and cervical cancer screening, pregnancy testing to prenatal care, and smoking cessation to mental health treatment.

“Healthy Texas Women is a one-stop site for women seeking health services," Nelson said. "By answering a few simple questions, women will be able to determine which program is right for them, which providers in their community participate and what services are available. This website is exactly what I had in mind for helping to make these programs more accessible and user-friendly.”

“The new site is a natural extension of the work the state is doing to expand the reach of women’s health care for low-income Texans,” Keffer said.

Healthy Texas Women is a joint-effort by the Health and Human Services Commission and the Department of State Health Services, and the agencies will promote the new website to clients using a wide-range of existing communication channels.

The site was gifted to the state using funds from a charity event hosted by Keffer and Nelson for The Empowerment Project, a Texas non-profit organization dedicated to helping low-income and underserved communities with tools to enhance their lives.

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Rep. Keffer and Dr. Shawn Brewer, Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Eastland, Join in Call to Action Against Houston Officials Attack on Local Pastors  

"Recently, lawyers acting on behalf of the City of Houston sent subpoenas to several Houston area pastors demanding that they hand over copies of their sermons and communications related to their objections to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. This gross abuse of authority by the city officials represents a need to call Christian believers to action and vigilance. All citizens need to take a stand against those who seek to limit religious liberty. We join together in a call to all Christians to speak out on our faith, to join in the national call to begin praying for our nation, to engage in faithful prayer for the heart change of people, and to exercise our constitutional right to vote. When our rights as Christians and as citizens are infringed upon, we must make sure that all believers vote. Though national issues often take center stage, this current violation of free speech taking place in Houston is proof that local elections and issues are equally as important. We extend our heartfelt prayers to the pastors and fellow Christians who are being attacked, and look forward to voting on November 4th."

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Ethics Commission finds Michael Quinn Sullivan guilty of failing to register as a lobbyist

 Agency finds that MQS and Empower Texans either lost or destroyed email evidence; maximum civil penalty of $10,000 is imposed

By Scott Braddock

The Quorum Report

The Texas Ethics Commissionon Monday announced that the agency has foundMichael Quinn Sullivan, president of Empower Texansand a spokesman for Midland oilmanTim Dunn, guilty of failure to register as a lobbyist. For that, the commission imposed the maximum civil penalty of $10,000.

The agency found, among other things, that Sullivan and Empower Texans either lost or destroyed thousands of pieces of email evidence. Commissioner said they were “left with the inescapable conclusion that Mr. Sullivan and Empower Texans have destroyed or lost thousands of emails sent to members of the Legislature during 2010 and 2011.”

“The Texas Ethics Commission unanimously finds that Mr. Sullivan, as part of his regular employment, communicated directly with members of the legislative branch to influence legislation without properly registering as a paid lobbyist,” the order said. The commission said the agency didn’t seek a contempt order against Sullivan because it would have delayed the case, however commissioners felt the fact that Sullivan was uncooperative bolstered the case against him.

The commission also outlined activities that Sullivan engages in on a regular basis that constitute lobbying as long as they’re not done in conjunction with things that do require registration. Those include writing about what is going on in the Legislature, maintaining a website that provides information regarding the Legislature, publishing a rating on a website of how fiscally responsible legislators are, writing news articles and posting them to a website, and publishing a scorecard.

The order, which you canread in full here, said “it is apparent that Mr. Sullivan is a professional lobbyist compensated by Empower Texans and its related entities for employment activities that include direct advocacy.Advocacy is indisputably legal, but being paid to directly advocate without registering as a lobbyist is not."

Just yesterday on a television news program in Dallas/Ft Worth, Sullivan said that he refused to testify in front of the commission because he felt they had already made up their minds. His lawyers on Monday said that they will immediately appeal the ruling in court.
SteveBresnen, the lobbyist and former aide to Lt. Gov.Bob Bullockwho researched the sworn complaints against Sullivan, said he wasn’t surprised by the commission’s finding.

“The evidence I provided supporting the complaints was overwhelming. No other conclusion could have been reached based on the law. It's particularly important to the people of Texas that the Commission thoroughly rejected the spurious ‘legal’ arguments offered byJoe NixonandTreyTrainor,”Bresnensaid of Sullivan’s attorneys. “That said, I take no pleasure in embarrassing Mike. It's worth noting, though, that the Rule of Law is a bedrock principle of conservatism.”

Copyright July 21, 2014, Harvey Kronberg, www.quorumreport.com, All rights are reserved



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Keffer Receives Friends of Country Government Award

Pictured above, after the award presentation are Rep. Keffer with Brown and Hood County officials.  From left to right are:  Hood County Auditor Stan McBroom, Hood County Commissioner Steve Berry, Rep. Keffer, Brown County Pct. 1 Commissioner Gary Worley, Brown County Judge Ray West, Brown County Pct. 3 Commissioner Wayne Shaw and Brown County Pct. 2 Commissioner Joel Kelton.