FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 8, 2002
Who: State Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr., Chairman and members of the Committee
What: Senate Border Affairs Subcommittee Hearing
When: Wednesday, August 14, 2002 at 10 a.m.
Where: University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Room 409L in the Medical School, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive
AUSTIN, TX--Dr. Francisco Cigarroa, president of the University of Texas Health Science Center, is hosting the committee and will present a progress report on the Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC) in South Texas. He will also update the committee on programs administered by the Health Science Center under the South Texas Border Initiative, which Sen. Lucio has ardently supported since its origins in 1989 during the 71st legislative session. The Initiative was passed to expand educational opportunities for residents all along the Texas-Mexico Border.
Cameron County Commissioner David Garza, who will be named chairman of the Border Colonia Advisory Board (BCAB) at the hearing, will offer an update on Proposition 2, the Constitutional Amendment recently approved by voters which authorized $175 million in general obligation bonds for paving colonia roads. Hidalgo County Judge Eloy Pulido will step down as chair. Sen. Lucio also plans to appoint Hidalgo County Commissioner Sylvia Handy to the BCAB.
Commissioner Carlos Ramirez of the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission will offer information on water issues, particularly on the 1944 Water Treaty with Mexico.
The Subcommittee is charged with identifying unique challenges facing the Texas-Mexico Border region and determining strategic economic development initiatives to assist the region in overcoming the identified challenges. The Subcommittee is also required to recommend initiatives to improve trade and tourism that create a sound foundation for economic development and determine the amount of funding necessary to implement the initiatives. This charge requires a determination of whether such investments will leverage other significant funds or if funding is unlikely from other sources. The Subcommittee may also make recommendations to facilitate commerce and lessen congestion at ports-of-entry at the Texas-Mexico border.
Members of the committee in addition to Sen. Lucio, D-Brownsville, include state Senators Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso; Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio; Frank Madla, D-San Antonio; and John Carona, R-Dallas.