FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 30, 2000
AUSTIN, TX--Today state Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville, was honored as Legislator of the Year by the Texas Rehab Action Network (TRAN) for his commitment to people with disabilities in Texas.
After receiving the award at the Omni Hotel in San Antonio at the TRAN 2000 Conference, the organization's fifth statewide education conference, Sen. Lucio said, "It is a special feeling to be honored by people whose tireless efforts bring dignity and new hope to the lives of so many of our friends, neighbors and family members across the state of Texas."
During the 76th legislative session, Sen. Lucio authored Senate Bill 623, which established mandatory construction requirements that accommodate the needs of people with disabilities in state or federally funded single family affordable housing. He has also been consistently supportive of legislation that addresses the concerns of people with disabilities.
"As I look back over my time as a legislator, I am proud to have been a part of the accomplishments we have made together for people with disabilities in this state," said the Senator, who served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1987 to 1990, and began his tenure in the Texas Senate in 1991.
Texas now has legislation that has strengthened disabled parking laws and has enhanced the oversight and monitoring of abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disabilities. Also in his remarks, Sen. Lucio referred to Hispanics in the state who represent the group with the highest growth rate of individuals with disabilities and yet are severely under-represented as professionals in the field. He added that the need for more minority rehabilitation training is being addressed by his alma mater, the University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg, through bilingual and culturally sensitive academic program development.
"The tireless efforts Sen. Lucio has provided to people with disabilities will continue to offer encouragement to all of us and to enhance the future progress of people with disabilities," said Ms. Mary Wolfe, TRAN member and coordinator of the event.
TRAN was incorporated as a non-profit organization on June 5, 1996, and became a state chapter of the American Rehab Action Network (ARAN) on June 3, 1996. The organization's mission is to advocate, educate and mobilize legislative and public support; provide training conferences, forums and other communication for their vocational rehabilitation professionals; and foster the highest standards of professional conduct.
"I was very touched and pleased to see 400 people in attendance at this conference," said Sen. Lucio, who, in his closing remarks, told the crowd, "Your passion and altruism are a great source of strength and inspiration, motivating each other, those you serve, and public servants like myself."