Action Alert: Tobacco Prevention Funding Hearings

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Action Alert

Public Hearings on Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Funding in Texas

Share your story and let your voice be heard about the importance of tobacco prevention and cessation in Texas!

There are two opportunities at the Texas Capitol this week:

Wednesday, Feb. 18, beginning at 7:30 AM
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Article II, hearing on Department of State Health Services (plus 2 other agencies)
John H Reagan Building (across from Capitol to the Northwest), Rm 120

Thursday, Feb. 19, beginning at 9:00 AM
Senate Finance Committee, hearing on Article II (all Health-related agencies)
Capitol E1.036

Want to participate but don't know how or what to expect?
Give us a call and we'll walk you through the process.

Let us know if you plan to attend.
Contact Nosse Ovienmhada at novienmhada@texansstandingtall.org or (512) 442-7501.

Texans Standing Tall
2211 South IH-35, Suite 201
Austin, Texas 78741
(512) 442-7501

Action Alert: DSHS Legislative Appropriations Request

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Action Alert

DSHS Public Stakeholder Meeting 2016/2017 Legislative Appropriations Request to be held next week

Action: Submit oral or written comments recommending that the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) have a separate funding stream designated exclusively for the prevention of underage drinking.

Background: As part of the State of Texas budget process, the Legislative Appropriations Request (LAR) is the formal request for funding made by DSHS. The LAR includes quantitative information such as projected performance, projected cost, and methods of financing proposed for state services.

Your oral and written comments help DSHS determine community needs and priorities, and direct funding to the health issues that most impact our communities. Talking points are provided below.

Oral Comments: Monday, June 2, 2014, 2:00pm at various video conference locations across the state:

  • Arlington: 1301 South Bowen Road, Room 2210
  • Austin: 1100 West 49th Street, K100
  • Corpus Christi: 1233 Agnes Street, Conference Room
  • El Paso: 401 East Franklin, Room 250
  • Harlingen: 601 West Sesame Drive, Rockport Room
  • Houston: 5425 Polk Street, Room 4B-E
  • Lubbock: 6302 Lola Avenue, Room 201
  • Midland: 2301 North Big Spring Street, DSHS HSR9 Conference Room
  • San Antonio: 2303 SE Military Drive, Texas Center for Infectious Disease, Videoconference Room
  • Temple: 2408 South 37th Street, Large Conference Room
  • Tyler: 1517 West Front Street, Room 315
  • Wichita Falls: 6515 Kemp Boulevard, Building 539, TAC Conference Room

Written Comments: Due Friday, June 6, 2014, by 5:00pm. Written comments regarding the 2016-2017 Legislative Appropriations Request may be submitted in lieu of, or in addition to, oral testimony until 5:00pm on Friday, June 6, 2014. Written comments may be sent by U.S. mail, overnight mail, special delivery mail, hand delivery, fax, or e-mail. The addresses are provided as follows:

  • U.S. Mail: DSHS, Attention: Carolyn Bivens, Mail Code 1911, P.O. Box 149347, Austin, TX 78714-9347
  • Overnight mail, special delivery mail, or hand delivery: DSHS, Attention: Carolyn Bivens, Mail Code 1911, 1100 W. 49th St., Austin, TX 78756
  • Phone number for package delivery: 512-776-2370
  • Fax: Attention: Carolyn Bivens at 512-776-7477
  • E-mail:  carolyn.bivens@dshs.state.tx.us

Talking Points

  • Alcohol is the most widely used substance by youth, and underage drinking costs the state $1.8 billion annually, primarily due to health care costs, lost productivity, motor vehicle crashes, fire response, and the criminal justice system.
  • By raising alcohol excise taxes by just a dime a drink, Texas stands to increase revenue by $711 million annually, a percentage of which could be designated for underage drinking prevention.
  • Raising alcohol excise taxes is a recognized way to reduce underage alcohol consumption by the Surgeon General, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention among others.
  • With increased and designated funding for underage drinking, DSHS could develop targeted media materials for youth that are guided by the research and focus group tested.
  • Increased revenue and funding to DSHS could also assist with the expansion of the Texas School Survey of Substance Abuse Among Students and the Texas School Survey of Substance Use Among College Students. This research is the only statewide data for coalitions to use to guide, tailor, and evaluate prevention strategies for alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and prescription drugs. Currently data is only collected in a fraction of schools across the state.

Texans Standing Tall
2211 South IH-35, Suite 201
Austin, Texas 78741
(512) 442-7501

Action Alert: Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program

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Action Alert

Dear Friend of Texans Standing Tall,

The Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program has been eliminated from the House budget and will only be continued if it is included in the Senate's budget.  The Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies will decide whether or not to include funding for the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program (EUDL) tomorrow.

The late Senator Byrd was once the biggest proponent of EUDL sadly he is no longer there to fight for this critical program.  Senator Byrd understood that the underage drinking laws were only as good as their enforcement and community support.  Please support the youth of Texas, and across the country and contact Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, ranking member of the Appropriations Committee, to tell her what you think about the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program.

Office: 202-224-5922 or on
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kaybaileyhutchison
Email: http://hutchison.senate.gov/?p=email_kay

Dear Senator Hutchison:

Tomorrow your Committee will markup the CJS Appropriations bill.  Each year, at the late Senator Byrd’s request, included in that bill was the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program (EUDL).  Since 1998, EUDL has provided funds to every state in order to ensure that our nation’s youth are protected from the dangers of underage drinking.

Underage drinking is a major public health and public safety issue. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), approximately 5,000 young people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking; this includes approximately 1,900 deaths from motor vehicle crashes, 1,600 as a result of homicides, 300 from suicide, as well as hundreds from other injuries such as falls, burns, and drowning.  Furthermore, underage drinking is a terrible economic burden to our country.  In 2009, underage drinking cost Texas $6 billion and a total of $62 billion across the entire US.

EUDL is critical to underage drinking prevention efforts in Texas. Nineteen sub-grants were awarded to local law enforcement agencies and colleges throughout the State including support for efforts to curb underage and binge drinking on college campuses, as well as helping law enforcement agencies with compliance checks.
Super Bowl training, hosted at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, was offered free to local law enforcement (day 1) and retailers (day 2). The training focused on enforcing and voluntary compliance with alcoholic beverage laws. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission also recreated educational items that were distributed throughout the area to remind people of underage drinking laws.

Without the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program we jeopardize one of the most effective public health laws on the books that specifically protects our kids.

Texans Standing Tall
2211 South IH-35, Suite 201
Austin, Texas 78741
(512) 442-7501

Action Alert – Hearing scheduled Tues. on Alcohol Exclusion Law

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Action Alert

Dear Friend of Texans Standing Tall,

Your action is needed – before 1:30 on this coming Tuesday, April 12!

Please be aware of the opportunity to submit testimony at an upcoming House Committee on Insurance hearing on House Bill 758 related to a repeal of the State's alcohol exclusion law (UPPL as some you know it). Submitting testimony is an important step in giving the prevention community voice on this issue. Rep. Craig Eiland is the bill author and Vice Chair of the Committee.

In this email you will find:

     
• Information about the hearing

• How to prepare testimony

• Talking points on the issue

You can access the Alcohol Exclusion Law Issue Brief on the TST website under "Get Equipped."

If you have any questions, want more information, need assistance don't hesitate to contact Alex Tapia at StrategySpecialist@TexansStandingTall.org or 512-442-7501.

Thanks,

Alex

Hearing Information:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011, 1:30 AM
Austin, Capitol Extension Bldg., Room E2.026

Please contact TST if you plan to attend so we can coordinate efforts. If you are unable to attend in person you may contact members of the committee directly via email. If you do send an email, please copy strategyspecialist@texansstandingtall.org.

To Send Testimony/Comments – Not in Person:

• Email or fax your testimony to each individual representative on the committee.

• You can also place a phone call stating your position to each office.

House Insurance Committee Members

District 86    John T. Smithee    (R) Amarillo     
          
(512) 463-0702 (Capitol office)
john.smithee@house.state.tx.us
(512) 476-7016 (fax)
Chair

 
District 23    Craig Eiland     (D) Galveston    
          
(512) 463-0502 (Capitol office)
craig.eiland@house.state.tx.us
(512) 936-4260 (fax)
Vice-Chair

 
District 91    Kelly Hancock    (R) Fort Worth    
          
(512) 463-0599 (Capitol office)
kelly.hancock@house.state.tx.us
(512) 463-0751 (fax)

 
District 93    Barbara Nash    (R) Arlington    
          
(512) 463-0562 (Capitol office)
barbara.nash@house.state.tx.us
(512) 463-2053 (fax)

 
District 107    Kenneth Sheets    (R) Dallas     
          
(512) 463-0244 (Capitol office)
kenneth.sheets@house.state.tx.us
(512) 463-9967 (fax)

 
District 24    Larry Taylor    (R) League City    
          
(512) 463-0729 (Capitol office)
larry.taylor@house.state.tx.us
(512) 474-2398 (fax)

 
District 33    Raul Torres    (R) Corpus Christi    
          
(512) 463-0484 (Capitol office)
raul.torres@house.state.tx.us
(512) 463-7834 (fax)

 
District 149    Hubert Vo    (D) Houston    
          
(512) 463-0568 (Capitol office)
hubert.vo@house.state.tx.us
(512) 463-0548 (fax)

 
District 140    Armando Walle    (D) Houston    
          
(512) 463-0924 (Capitol office)
armondo.walle@house.state.tx.us
(512) 463-1510 (fax)

 
               
Public Hearings & Submitting Testimony

Public hearings are an opportunity to voice your opinion through testimony (written or spoken) in a formal setting.

As a general rule, written testimony should be no more than two typed pages, single-spaced. Write clearly and concisely and avoid using jargon.

Anticipate that the staffers and legislators that read your testimony are intelligent and well educated, but will not have professional experience in the prevention field.

Writing your testimony

Write it out first. Whether you plan to give your testimony vocally or in writing, write it out and give a copy to each committee member. Identify yourself and explain why the issue is important to you. For example, your testimony might begin: "My name is [Your Name] and I am a member of Texans Standing Tall, the statewide coalition to make alcohol, tobacco and other drugs irrelevant in the lives of youth. As a parent underage drinking is very important to me."
Thank the Committee for their time. Include a local anecdote, in five sentences or less, demonstrating your opinion on repealing the alcohol exclusion law in Texas. Briefly educate the decision makers on your opinion regarding repeal of the alcohol exclusion law.

Before attending a public meeting:

• Know the logistics.

     • Where is the hearing? Is space limited? What time does it start/end? Where do I park? Will I need to do a lot of walking?
• Rehearse what you plan to say.

     • Practicing in front of others or a mirror works wonders.
     • Time yourself. If they have a time limit they typically will cut you off if you don't finish on time. If they have a lot of people speaking, they appreciate brevity.
• Prepare your materials.

     • Prepare a written copy of your testimony and any additional information to leave the committee. Plan ahead to make sure you are bringing the right number, the best information on the issue, AND that you're not overwhelming them with paperwork. One issue brief or fact sheet and another document or report is more than enough.
     • Bring enough copies for staff as well – especially if you know they are the committee coordinator or the staffer responsible for your particular issue.
Tips for giving your testimony:

· Use your written testimony as a script.
Writing out your testimony in advance will help.

· Be polite and courteous!
This includes dressing appropriately and thanking the committee for their time.

· Don't use acronyms and jargon.
Using technical and industry specific language will cause confusion.

· Take notes!
If a committee member wants more information, write it down so you don't forget.
Deliver the information promised as soon as possible.

After giving your testimony:

· If you mail your written testimony, a few days later call the committee clerk/staffer to make sure that it was received.

· If you fax or email the testimony, call the same day.

· Keep a copy for yourself, and please send a copy of your testimony to Texans Standing Tall for our files.

Talking Points on HB 758

The information below can be used as a guideline to create your own argument.

What is the status in Texas?

The Texas Policy Provision is 1201.227. POLICY PROVISION: INTOXICANTS AND NARCOTICS. An individual accident and health insurance policy must contain the following provision if the policy addresses the subject matter of the provision: " Intoxicants and Narcotics: The insurer is not liable for any loss sustained or contracted in consequence of the insured's being intoxicated or under the influence of any narcotic unless the narcotic is administered on the advice of a physician."[1]

Talking Points

Remember to write/speak from your perspective and include facts and supporting data in your letter, meeting, or testimony that indicate your position on repeal of the Texas alcohol exclusion law.

The key points on the Alcohol Exclusion Law are:

     • Alcohol Exclusion Laws were created with good intentions but had the opposite of their intended effect and have actually made it more difficult to reduce drug and alcohol abuse.
     • There is absolutely no evidence that Alcohol Exclusion Laws reduce drunk driving.
     • The Alcohol Exclusion Law discourages hospitals from gathering data on drug and alcohol use or abuse for fear that it will result in nonpayment.
     • Because hospitals are not gathering drug and alcohol abuse data, patients are not being given opportunities for screening and brief intervention, resulting in massive negative consequences to public health and significant public expense.
     •Because hospitals are not gathering adequate drug and alcohol abuse data, a vital source of information for the development, implementation, and evaluation of substance abuse prevention and reduction strategies is being lost.
     •Because it hinders effective treatment and prevention of drug and alcohol abuse, the Alcohol Exclusion Law actually results in higher, not lower, health care costs.
     • You do not have to be "over the legal limit" of alcohol use for insurance to deny payment – any alcohol in the blood is cause for denying payment.
     •You do not have to break the law for insurance to deny payment. You could have a glass of wine with dinner, step onto the sidewalk and sprain your ankle, go to the emergency room for care and insurance could deny payment if it is noted the injury occurred with alcohol in your system.

Talking Points on Negative Consequences:

     • The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which drafted the original model legislation in the 1940s, has now publicly repudiated it and recommends repeal.[2]
     • It is estimated that about 30% of pregnant women admitted to emergency rooms in Texas are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, clearly presenting a severe danger to both mother and fetus. The Alcohol Exclusion Law prevents us from gaining a comprehensive picture of this serious issue as well as the opportunity to solve it.
     • According to Dr. Larry Gentilello, as little as 30 minutes of post-screening counseling can reduce readmissions to a hospital by 48%. It is estimated that every dollar devoted to screening and brief intervention saves $3.81 in overall health care costs. The Alcohol Exclusion Law seriously discourages hospitals from offering such screening and brief intervention.
     • The Alcohol Exclusion Law hinders law enforcement from effectively dealing with drunk driving, because the lack of hospital screening allows drunk drivers to escape detection. Typically, police officers do not follow ambulances from the scene of a crash to the hospital. Therefore, no arrest or legal consequences take place.

Texans Standing Tall
2211 South IH-35, Suite 201
Austin, Texas 78741
(512) 442-7501

Action Alert: Action Needed Before 8am Tues. – Alcoholic Energy Drinks

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Action Alert

Dear Friend of Texans Standing Tall,

Your action is needed – before 8am tomorrow (Tues.) morning!

Please be aware of the opportunity to submit testimony at an upcoming House Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures hearing on House Bill 882 related to alcoholic energy drinks. Submitting testimony is an important step in giving the prevention community voice on this issue.

Below, please find the talking points to help you in preparing testimony. You may also

In this email you will find:
• Information about the hearing
• How to prepare testimony
• Talking points on the issue

You can access the Alcoholic Energy Drinks Issue Brief on the TST website under "Get Equipped."

If you have any questions, want more information, need assistance don't hesitate to contact Alex Tapia at StrategySpecialist@TexansStandingTall.org or 512-442-7501.

Thanks,

Alex

Hearing Information:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011, 8:05 AM
Austin, Capitol Extension Bldg., Room E2.012

Please contact TST if you plan to attend so we can coordinate efforts. If you are unable to attend in person you may contact members of the committee directly via email. If you do send an email, please copy strategyspecialist@texansstandingtall.org.

To Send Testimony/Comments – Not in Person:
• Email or fax your testimony to each individual representative on the committee.
• You could also place a phone call – stating your position to each office.
• House Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee Members:

District
Name
Home Town
Capitol Phone
Email
Fax

19 - R : Mike Hamilton
Mauriceville
(512) 463-0412
mike.hamilton@house.state.tx.us
(512) 463-1915

75 - D: Chente Quntanilla
El Paso
(512) 463-0613
chente.quintanilla@house.state.tx.us
(512) 463-1237

113 - R : Joe Driver
Garland
(512) 463-0574
joe.driver@house.state.tx.us
(972) 276-8207

99 - R : Charlie Geren
River Oaks
(512) 463-0610
charlie.geren@house.state.tx.us
(817) 738-8362

119 - D: Roland Gutierrez
San Antonio
(512) 463-0452
roland.gutierrez@house.state.tx.us
(210) 532-3830

126 - R : Patricia Harless
Spring
(512) 463-0496
patricia.harless@house.state.tx.us
(281) 826-0101

44 - R : John Langston Kuempel
Seguin
(512) 463-0602
john.keumpel@house.state.tx.us
(512) 480-0391

124 - D : Jose Menedez
San Antonio
(512) 463-0634
jose.menendez@house.state.tx.us
(512) 463-7668

141 - D : Senfronia Paige Thompson
Houston
(512) 463-0720
sefronia.paige@house.state.tx.us
(713) 633-7830

Public Hearings & Submitting Testimony

Public hearings are an opportunity to voice your opinion through testimony (written or spoken) in a formal setting.

As a general rule, written testimony should be no more than two typed pages, single-spaced. Write clearly and concisely and avoid using jargon.

Anticipate that the staffers and legislators that read your testimony are intelligent and well educated, but will not have professional experience in the prevention field.

Writing your testimony

Write it out first.
Whether you plan to give your testimony vocally or in writing, write it out and give a copy to each committee member.
Identify yourself and explain why the issue is important to you.
For example, your testimony might begin: "My name is [Your Name] and I am a member of Texans Standing Tall, the statewide coalition to make alcohol, tobacco and other drugs irrelevant in the lives of youth. As a parent preventing underage drinking is very important to me."
Thank the committee for their time.
Include a local anecdote, in five sentences or less, demonstrating your opinion on banning alcoholic energy drinks in Texas.
Briefly educate the decision makers on your opinion on the dangers of alcoholic energy drinks.
Before attending a public meeting:

• Know the logistics.

o Where is the hearing? Is space limited? What time does it start/end? Where do I park? Will I need to do a lot of walking?

• Rehearse what you plan to say.

o Practicing in front of others or a mirror works wonders.

o Time yourself. If they have a time limit they typically will cut you off if you don't finish on time. If they have a lot of people speaking, they appreciate brevity.

• Prepare your materials.

o Prepare a written copy of your testimony and any additional information to leave the committee. Plan ahead to make sure you are bringing the right number, the best information on the issue, AND that you're not overwhelming them with paperwork. One issue brief or fact sheet and another document or report is more than enough.

o Bring enough copies for staff as well – especially if you know they are the committee coordinator or the staffer responsible for your particular issue.

Tips for giving your testimony:

Use your written testimony as a script.
Writing out your testimony in advance will help.
Be polite and courteous!
This includes dressing appropriately and thanking the committee for their time.
Don't use acronyms and jargon.
Using technical and industry specific language will cause confusion.
Take notes!
If a committee member wants more information, write it down so you don't forget.
Deliver the information promised as soon as possible.
After giving your testimony:

If you mail your written testimony, a few days later call the committee clerk/staffer to make sure that it was received.
If you fax or email the testimony, call the same day.
Keep a copy for yourself, and please send a copy of your testimony to Texans Standing Tall for our files.
Talking Points on HB 882. Use these as a guideline to create your own argument.

Current Actions:
• The Food and Drug Administration has declared caffeine an "unsafe food additive" but did not rule on other stimulant ingredients.
• The TABC voluntary recall of alcoholic energy drinks stops short of banning these across the state.
• Legislature can keep these dangerous beverages out of the hands of youth.
• Current propose legislation – HB 882 – does not include other stimulant ingredients which could cause the same effects as caffeine.

About Alcoholic Energy Drinks:
• Prepackaged, sweet beverages containing alcohol, caffeine, and other stimulants.
• Alcoholic energy drinks create a "wide awake drunk" – especially with youth.
• The addition of stimulants masks the sensation of drunkenness, leading to dangerous behaviors such as alcohol poisoning, drunk driving, and other risky behaviors.
• The drinks are built on the popularity of non-alcoholic energy drinks.
• The marketing tactics employed by the creators appeal largely to the youth market.
• Brand Confusion - The packaging of alcoholic energy drinks looks very similar to those that contain no alcohol, making it more difficult for retailers, clerks, and parents to tell the difference between the alcoholic energy drinks and their non-alcoholic energy drink.

Health Concerns:
• It is very important to consider caffeine and/or other stimulants including, but not limited to, guarana, ginseng and taurine as part of a statewide ban.
• Both stimulants and alcohol are very dehydrating. Dehydration can hinder the body's ability to metabolize alcohol and will increase the toxicity and potential for alcohol poisoning.
• Fatigue is one way the body tells someone that they've had enough to drink.

Other Talking Points:
Remember to write from your perspective. Examples: parent, community leader, taxpayer, teacher, business owner, consumer, student, law enforcement.
• Alcopops and alcoholic energy drinks are youth appealing and marketed in places where youth frequent like the Internet, social networking sites, sporting event sponsorships and magazines.
• The drinks are designed to closely resemble their nonalcoholic counter parts which makes it difficult for anyone, especially adults, to identify which is alcoholic and which is nonalcoholic.
• The alcoholic energy drinks are considerably less- 30-40 cents- than nonalcoholic drinks and youth are price sensitive.
• Deceptively advertised as energy cocktails, giving the drinker the energy and power to go all night without stating the possible consequences (dehydration, alcohol poisoning).
• Like alcopops, alcoholic energy drinks neither taste nor look like beer although they are sold as a malt beverage (beer).
• Alcohol is the number one drug problem among youth and is frequently involved in the top causes of death among teens –automobile crashes, homicides, suicides.
• The deceptive labeling of the product makes it difficult for law enforcement, parents, teachers, retailers, and even teens to distinguish between an alcoholic and nonalcoholic energy drink.
• The claims about positive energizing effects of the alcoholic drinks deceive the drinker into a false sense of security. It makes the true results of intoxication and does not disclose the potentially severe, adverse consequences of mixing stimulants with alcohol.
• The true effects can put the drinker at increased risk for injury, alcohol poisoning, and risky sexual behavior and hinder their ability to determine when to stop drinking.
• If you set a juice, a can of soda and a can of beer side by side, you can easily determine which is which. When you set some alcopops next to some bottles of soda, it can be difficult to determine the difference. However, when you place an alcoholic energy drink next to a nonalcoholic energy drink, it is almost impossible to tell the difference without a close examination of the can.

Texans Standing Tall
2211 South IH-35, Suite 201
Austin, Texas 78741
(512) 442-7501

Action Alert – TX Hearing Scheduled to Ban Alcoholic Energy Drinks

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Action Alert

Dear Friend of Texans Standing Tall:

Your participation is needed!

This is first of what may be many Action Alerts we'll send about important actions you can take during this Session of the Texas Legislature to make alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs irrelevant in the lives of youth.

Testimony is needed this Tues. on H.B. 882 - the bill to ban caffeinated malt beverages.

They are inviting witnesses to give Testimony. If you are interested in submitting testimony written or in person, please contact Nicole (nholt@TexansStandingTall.org) and Alex (strategyspecialits@TexansStandingTall.org).

When: This Tues, March 22
Time: 8am
Where: State Capitol, Room E2.012

Invitation from Rep. Carol Alvarado's office:
Texans Standing Tall,
House Bill 882 which bans caffeinated malt beverages will have its committee hearing on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 8:05 in room E2.012. Please let me know if there are any other witnesses that would be willing to testify for this bill.
Respectfully,
Luis A. Salguero
Office of State Representative Carol Alvarado
Austin, TX

Next Steps:
We'll be sending another Action Alert with instructions for Taking Action later this weekend. We first wanted you to get the hearing on your calendar so that you could make arrangements to attend. The bill is not as comprehensive as it could be and we will give you information about those details in the next email.

Sincerely,
Texans Standing Tall

Texans Standing Tall
2211 South IH-35, Suite 201
Austin, Texas 78741
(512) 442-7501

Action Alert: Your Voice Needed – Reauthorize STOP Act prevention funding

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Action Alert

Hello Prevention Supporters,

Your action is need to keep vital prevention money in place to continue the fight against youth substance abuse. Please contact Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison to thank her for being a sponsor of the original STOP Act funding. Share with her the importance of reauthorizing STOP Act funding for another five years. Texans Standing Tall is a recipient of this funding that is so vital to our state's and nation's prevention efforts and we need your help!

SENATOR KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON'S CONTACT INFORMATION:
284 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-4304
202-224-5922
202-224-0776 (FAX)

Jenifer Healy is Sen. Hutchison's staff member focused on health policy. You may ask to speak with her or email her (jenifer_healy@hutchison.senate.gov) if you would like to express specific concerns about the need and value of this funding. You will find related talking points below.
Attached is the House version of the bill. Here are some general talking points:

• Underage drinking is a major problem

• The Community Based Coalition Enhancement Grant program contained in the STOP Act is one of the only prevention programs specifically designed to reduce underage drinking at the local level that goes directly to communities.

• This program has been extremely successful.

• Grantees are implementing a variety of science-based strategies to prevent and reduce underage drinking in their communities.

• There is tremendous demand for this program. In fact, 266 applications were submitted for the 23 grants that were available in FY 2009.

• Texas currently has one STOP Act grant from CSAP.

• Because grants are awarded to current and former DFC grantees, it means that an additional 50 coalitions are eligible to apply for STOP Act funds.

• The STOP Act reauthorization was just introduced in the House last week, extending the authorization for another five years and increasing the authorization for community grants from $5 million to $ 9 million (using an unused underage drinking authorization to SAMHSA as the offset, this is not additional spending).

• Sen Hutchison was an early co-sponsor of the original STOP Act, which is making a difference in Texas. This would be a terrific addition to her legacy as a Senator.

• Senator Dodd is currently working on the companion bill in the Senate and would like to introduce as soon as possible.

• Please ask the Senator to sign on to co-sponsor the STOP Act Reauthorization so that more coalitions in TX have the tools they need to effectively prevent and reduce underage drinking.

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Please let us know if you contact her office. If you send an email or fax, please forward us a copy as well.

Sincerely,
Brittany
Public Policy Liaison

 

512-442-7501
bhibbs@texansstandingtall.org

Making alcohol, tobacco and other drugs irrelevant in the lives of youth through healthier and safer communities.

Texans Standing Tall
2211 South IH-35, Suite 201
Austin, Texas 78741
(512) 442-7501