FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 27, 2001
AUSTIN, TX--At the first hearing of the Interim Senate Subcommittee on Border Affairs on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2001, state Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville, appointed an advisory committee to ensure that border communities are an integral and organized part of the implementation of Proposition 2.
The constitutional amendment approved by voters on Nov. 6 allows the issuance of up to $175 million in state general obligation bonds to assist counties in paving colonia roads.
Sen. Lucio said, "As chairman of Border Affairs, and author of Senate Joint Resolution 37 and of Senate Bill 1296, I want to make sure that as the Transportation Commission sets up the Colonia Bond program, that it has the continued involvement and input from our local communities in order to maximize the limited dollars available to address our colonia road problems."
After requesting support from the committee, Sen. Lucio said he was appointing Hidalgo County Judge Eloy Pulido and El Paso County Commissioner Carlos Aguilar to spearhead this effort and be the chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Border Colonia Advisory Committee. Also appointed were Cameron County Commissioner David Garza, Commissioner Adolfo "Pope" Gonzalez, Jr. of Zapata, Webb County Judge Mercurio Martinez, Jr., and Val Verde County Judge Mike L. Fernandez.
Sen. Lucio is also asking this new advisory board to communicate with the commissioners court of each of the 23 border counties and obtain their input while also keeping them informed. He directed Judge Pulido and Commissioner Aguilar to meet as soon as possible to provide recommendations and assistance to both the Texas Transportation Commission, as well as the Subcommittee on Border Affairs.
"This advisory body will help the Transportation Commission and the Texas Department of Transportation in the development and administration of the Colonia Bond Program," noted Sen. Lucio.
The counties include: Brewster, Culberson, El Paso, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Presidio, Dimmit, Duval, Kinney, La Salle, Maverick, Val Verde, Webb, Zavala, Brooks, Cameron, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Kenedy, Starr, Willacy, Zapata and Terrell.
The Senator is also asking these counties to provide additional recommendations to the Subcommittee on Border Affairs in terms of how the Legislature based on their local efforts in addressing colonia issues within their jurisdictions.
Members of Border Affairs include state Senators John Carona, R- Dallas; Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso; David Sibley, R-Waco; and Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio.