FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2011
(512) 463-0120 office
(McAllen, TX) -- After playing a central role in state budget negotiations as Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa announced his intention to seek a third term in the Texas Senate to continue his work in creating jobs, furthering education, economic development, and public safety.
"South Texas will play an increasingly larger role in shaping our state's future," Hinojosa noted. "Our communities are growing at a faster rate and have a large population of young people. We need to educate them and lead our communities into a global economy instead of letting them fall victims to the politics of the day."
As Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Hinojosa helped forge a budget that restored close to $6 billion from the initial proposal to cut $10 billion from our public schools. The budget also tapped $4 billion from the state's Rainy Day Fund to further protect our public education system--desperately needed funds that were eventually stripped from the budget by the House of Representatives.
"Now more than ever, we need leaders who have the courage to put politics aside, look at problems honestly, and make the tough decisions," Hinojosa said. "We need a balanced approach to tackle the state's fiscal issues, to maximize our state resources - not an approach driven by ideology."
Despite a session known for its contentiousness and indiscriminate cuts, Senator Hinojosa was able to secure passage of key measures designed to create economic opportunities throughout South Texas, including:
- South Texas Universities: $800,000 for a UTPA teaching site in McAllen. $500,000 additional funding under HB 4 for Engineering Program at TAMCC.
- JET Program: Secured $5 million for the Jobs and Education for Texans Program, which is designed to retrain hardworking Texans to rejoin the workforce. The program propels the state economy and assures Texans can have good jobs to provide for their families.
- The Dropout Recovery Bill SB 975: This piece of legislation will help keep children in school, recapture students and put them on a track to college. Education is one of the strongest economic engines at the state's disposal, and this program is a proven success.
- Driscoll Children's Hospital: Through budget negotiations, Senator Hinojosa was able to secure $4 million for children's hospitals; assuring that Driscoll children's hospital can serve the needs of South Texans.
- SJR 4/Proposition 2 - Revolving Water Bonds: Senator Hinojosa authored Joint Resolution 4 to give Texans the opportunity to authorize $6 billion in revolving water bonds to help cities, counties and local governments fund water projects and infrastructure more cheaply than they could on their own through Proposition 2 on the November ballot.
- Transportation Infrastructure: Working together with TxDOT, Senator Hinojosa was able to secure $390 million for infrastructure investments in the last three years to keep transportation projects moving in South Texas. This includes, a total of $127.7 million for U.S. 281 Corridor and $100 million in leverage funds for the Harbor Bridge in Corpus Christi.
- Border Security Package: Senator Hinojosa's border security package includes $800,000 for tactical vessels, $9 million for high altitude surveillance aircraft, $56 million for a 9-hour workday for DPS troopers and $266,667 for defensive weapons. These efforts expand the tools our law enforcement agents have at their disposal to make our communities safer and secure our borders.
The Editorial Board of the Corpus Christ Caller Times named Hinojosa one of two South Texas legislators who "stood especially tall in the 82nd Legislature's recently concluded regular session." Looking to the campaign, Hinojosa stated he plans to engage South Texas families -- to talk out the tough issues, no matter the political consequences. "Austin politicians have it wrong," Hinojosa explained. "They believe voters can't handle the truth. I believe the real story is if voters learn the truth, they'll demand more from state government."