Thursday, May 7, 2015

Kabuki Theater: Did Poncho Nevarez ever install a Panic Button?!?

"He who speaks truth declares righteousness,
But a false witness, deceit."
Proverbs 12:17

At the beginning of the 84th Legislature, there was a controversy regarding Representative Poncho Nevarez and "Panic Buttons."  In late March, this website put an open records request into the Department of Public Safety for all communications with Representative Poncho Nevarez concerning setting up a panic button.  The search turned up bupkus.

According to DPS records, the only communications they've had with Representative Nevarez's office this session was concerning HB 2405, a bill pertaining to signage requirments for businesses that do not permit carry on their premises that was left pending in April.

[Author's Note: Due to formatting issues, we can't embed the e-mails, so we've cut and pasted the text.]
Hey Mr. Bowie!
Thanks so much for getting back to me. I spoke with our legislative director and she said that we basically are just wanting someone from DPS to testify on the bill neutrally or in favor (although we do believe DPS is unable to testify in favor) at the bill hearing, if possible. We would greatly appreciate it! I have attached the bill rational as well as the text. If you have any questions please feel free to call.
Thanks again.
Legislative Assistant
Representative Poncho Nevarez
DPS response:
 State agencies are prohibited from taking a position on any legislation. We are happy to provide a resource witness on the bill and answer questions the members may have regarding our operations or anticipated implementation of the provisions of the bill.
Please let me know if you have questions.  Also, in the future, please reach out to me or my staff (Office of Government Relations) should you need anything in the future from the department.
   Thank you.
   Deputy Assistant Director
   Office of Government Relations
   Texas Department of Public Safety
Nevarez's office writes back:
Thanks so much! We would appreciate it if you could provide a resource witness for HB 2405 as soon as possible!
Legislative Assistant 
Representative Poncho Nevarez
Bottom Line: If Poncho Nevarez had installed a panic button, one would think DPS would have a record of the communication.

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