From the office of: State Senator José Rodríguez, District 29

March 13, 2013
Contact: Sito Negron
(512) 463-0129

Statement Of Senator José Rodríguez Regarding Senate Passage of SB 120

(Austin, Texas)—Senator José Rodríguez issued the following statement on the Senate passage of SB 120, which establishes Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso as an independent health sciences university.

"Establishing TTUHSC at El Paso as a standalone university and the fourth component institution in the Texas Tech System is the culmination of two decades of hard work and close collaboration by the El Paso community and the Texas Tech University System.

"As an independent health sciences university, TTUHSC at El Paso will be able to focus on research priorities such as diseases that affect Latinos and border populations. In addition, the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, which will graduate its first class of doctors, and its companion Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing, will reduce the regional shortage of health care professionals and provide quality health care in a medically underserved area.

"As part of the Medical Center of the Americas, the health sciences center will be a core component of a regional economic driver that adds value to our community, the state, and the nation."

"I am excited we were able to pass SB120 out of the Senate so early in the session. Now it moves to the House, where it has unanimous support from our legislative delegation."

SB 120 was co-authored by Senator Robert Duncan, who represents Lubbock and West Texas, as well as Senators Judith Zaffirini and Sylvia Garcia.

Last March, the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents voted to initiate the process of establishing a freestanding health sciences university with degree granting authority in El Paso. The new university would be the fourth component of the Texas Tech University System and would join Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and Angelo State University.