Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa filed a bill today that would improve the living conditions of hundreds of migrant workers in his district. In previous sessions, the legislature has enacted laws that allowed certain border counties to better regulate large communities of migrant workers, called colonias. Colonias are usually located in rural areas that lack proper sewage and water systems. Senate Bill 425, filed by Hinojosa, would grant Nueces County commissioners the same power given to border county commissioners in previous sessions. SB 425 will also allow the county to apply for millions of dollars in grants from the Texas Water Development Board.
During today's session, the Senate honored the contributions of the MD Anderson Cancer Center for its ground-breaking work in cancer treatment and patient rehabilitation services. The world famous hospital, located near Houston, was founded in 1941, and has since grown into the world's premier cancer treatment hospital. Dr. Norman Jaffe was honored specifically for his rehabilitation work with patients who have lost limbs to cancer. Jaffe created and attends the ski rehabilitation program located in Winter Park, Utah. There, patients who have lost one or both legs to cancer are taught to three-track ski, where a person skis on one ski while maintaining balance using small out-riding skis attached to poles. This program can lift the spirits of an amputee patient, and demonstrate that a loss of a leg does not mean a decrease in quality of life. Dr. Jaffe appeared with colleagues Dr. John Mendelsohn, Dr. Alan Yasko, and Dr. John Slopis.
Also today, the Senate confirmed former state Representative Elizabeth Ames Jones as the newest commissioner for the Texas Railroad Commission. The commission oversees rail transportation and energy issues in Texas. Jones resigned as a Representative last year in order to accept the Governor's nomination to the commission. For a full list of nominees approved by the Senate today, click here.