Sen. Lucio files for re-election
BROWNSVILLE, TX-- State Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville) today outlined some of his top legislative priorities as he filed for re-election to his sixth term in office, citing his participation in revamping the method by which public schools are financed in Texas as uppermost on his agenda.
As a member of the Public School Finance Committee, Sen. Lucio looks forward to working on the development of a statewide plan that will reduce the overly burdensome school property tax for homeowners, but ensures that property-poor schools receive sufficient funding for providing every student an equitable education.
"While I have legislative priorities, I am proud to say that my family and constituents are my top personal priorities," he said. "I consider my wife, Minnie, my two children, my son-in-law and my two grandchildren absolute blessings in my life. I also feel blessed to serve the constituents of District 27."
He remarked that his constituents also have high priorities--especially regarding transportation--that he will continue to address, and those include building a second access to South Padre Island, expanding Expressway 83 from Laredo to Brownsville, and completing the I-69 corridor extending from Canada to Brownsville.
Sen. Lucio has served in the Texas Senate since 1990 and will rank seventh in seniority during the next legislative session in January 2005. During the last session, he had the honor of being elected President Pro Tempore of the Senate by his colleagues.
Sen. Lucio, along with the Valley delegation, recently secured an additional $9 million for the Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC). His goal is to continue working for more funding for the RAHC to ensure it ultimately becomes a first-class medical school in the Rio Grande Valley. He is also pursuing full funding for the development of the Irma Rangel School of Pharmacy in Kingsville.
Two other committees of critical importance to South Texas that Sen. Lucio was appointed to last month are the Senate Select Committee on Water Policy and the Subcommittee on the Lease of State Water Rights. As a member of these bodies, he intends to fully address the drought conditions of South Texas and the Border region's complete reliance on the Rio Grande for water. He will also pursue repayment of the water debt by Mexico.
This past session, Sen. Lucio was able to bring added attention to the Border and its needs after his appointment by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst as chairman of the newly created standing committee -- the Senate Committee on International Relations and Trade (IRT). Sen. Lucio credits Lt. Gov. Dewhurst for this innovative forum for the state to address trade and international issues. The IRT Committee is charged with legislative and policy oversight of all issues relating to the Border, Texas' ports of entry, and economic and trade development for the entire state.
"I credit the support and work of the people of District 27 in assisting me to reach many legislative accomplishments for our area, but a great deal more remains to be done," added Sen. Lucio, who represents all of Cameron, Willacy, Starr, Kenedy and Kleberg counties, plus the southeastern section of Hidalgo County.
Sen. Lucio includes the following as ongoing issues that must be adequately resolved: increasing teacher salaries and benefits; limiting tuition increases for college students; expanding instead of decreasing CHIP and Medicaid benefits; improving the nutrition and health of children; continuing the push for affordable housing; and attracting the industries needed in South Texas to provide more employment with higher wages.
"I have fought for and alongside the people of District 27 in a bi-partisan fashion for 14 years and my record reflects that effort. I stand ready to continue this service and to improve the quality of life for South Texans," said state Sen. Lucio.