From the Office of State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: June 18, 2003
CONTACT: Melissa Sattley (512) 463-0120, cell 947-4046
Zandra Zuniga (361) 299-2788

Special Session Costly to Taxpayers, Unnecessary for Texas

AUSTIN -- For Gov. Rick Perry to bring up such a politically divisive issue as congressional redistricting during a special session is fiscally irresponsible and partisan politics at its worst, Sen. Juan Hinojosa said Wednesday.

"At a time when the state is facing a money crisis, spending $1.7 million in a special session is a waste of taxpayers time and money, and the only reason for it is to satisfy Tom Delay's brazen partisanship," Sen. Hinojosa said.

A 30-day special session costs as much as $1.7 million. Gov. Perry has already committed to another special session for public school finance in the next year.

"Redistricting should not be an issue that is brought up every time one party or the other takes control of the Legislature," Sen. Hinojosa said. "It is bad public policy. Redistricting should be done as intended every 10 years when the census is taken."

Gov. Perry has also said he will bring up funding for border health institutions such as the Regional Academic Health Center when redistricting is finished.

Sen. Hinojosa said Gov. Perry should support the RAHC and other institutions on the border which he has repeatedly pledged to support in the past.

"As far as funding for the RAHC, the Governor promised to fund it out of the Texas Enterprise Fund," Sen. Hinojosa said. "But now it appears that the Governor is pressuring border legislators in return for a vote on redistricting. I feel, however, that ultimately the Governor will do the right thing and fund these institutions, because what is good for the border is good for the rest of the state and the nation."

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