from the office of State Senator Judith Zaffirini

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: María Flores
Public Information Aide
(512) 463-0121
March 2, 2004

Senator Judith Zaffirini named Champion for Children

Senator Judith Zaffirini named Champion for Children
Senator Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) with Children's Advocacy Center Board Members, (L-R) Gloria Canseco, Mary Lamar Killam, Michelle Raymond, Isidro Alaniz, Susie Farias, Cathy Rossberg (AMERIGROUP), Juan Cruz (CAC board president), Z, Dr. Henry Carranza, Janice Gonzalez, Minnie Dora Bunn Haynes, Cordelia Valdez.

LAREDO, Texas--During a reception at the Children's Advocacy Center of Laredo-Webb County Senator Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) on Tuesday (March 2) received the "Champion for Children" award from AMERIGROUP Foundation for her legislative efforts on behalf of Texas children.

Cathy Rossberg, Vice President of AMERIGROUP, presented the award and $2,500 in Senator Zaffirini's name to CAC, the charitable group of her choice. This donation will help the center to fulfill its mission of breaking the cycle of child abuse and neglect. "Generous donations from AMERIGROUP and other worthy organizations enable us to protect our children against abuse, neglect and exploitation," Senator Zaffirini said. "It is our responsibility as parents, mentors and legislative representatives to prioritize their needs an to ensure their health, safety and education."

During the 78th Legislature Senator Zaffirini passed 40 bills, including 14 that specifically related to children's advocacy issues. Among them were SB 45, which creates a separate crime to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated and with a child passenger; SB 57, which created a statewide alert system for abducted children, commonly known as the Amber alert system; SB 76, which coordinates pre-kindergarten, Head Start and child care programs. "These bills are part of our efforts to enhance children's well-being," Senator Zaffirini said. "CAC volunteers facilitate our passing legislation to help victims of child abuse."

Ranked fourth in seniority in the 31-member Texas Senate, Senator Zaffirini is Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee and a member of the Legislative Budget Board and of the Senate Committees on Education, Health and Human Services, and International Trade and Relations. She has served three consecutive terms as Chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, five terms as a member of the Appropriations Conference Committee that writes the state's budget, six terms on the Senate Finance Committee and eight consecutive terms on the Senate Education Committee.

For more information contact the Senator's Capitol office staff via 512/463-0121, or visit her website at http://www.zaffirini.senate.state.tx.us

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