FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2004
Commissioner's Court Chambers, Suite 303
El Paso County Courthouse (500 E. San Antonio)
March 4, 2004 at 9 a.m.
AUSTIN, TX--The Senate Committee on International Relations and Trade will hold its first of a series of public hearings for this legislative interim on Thursday, March 4, 2004, in El Paso.
Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. of Brownsville encourages the public, particularly community leaders, to attend and share their valuable insight on issues pertinent to their localities, as well as to offer comment on the charges.
The charges the committee will study include the following:
- Study the activities of the U.S.-Mexico Border Environmental Program: Border 2012, particularly in reference to the grant program. The Committee shall also monitor the distribution of funds from the North American Development Bank and the Border Environmental Cooperative Commission, as well as review the activities of the International Boundary and Water Commission. The Committee should make recommendations for efficient use, tracking, and leverage of funds and for effective coordination of state policies relating to the Border region.
- Study the implementation of House Bill 109 and make recommendations for improvement of the import/export and certification system and for maximization of the tax dollars collected.
- Study trends and issues concerning trade, immigration, and employment along the Border, including the impact of 10 years of NAFTA, and make recommendations to enhance economic development and growth. Examine the impact of the US-VISIT program and the Trade Adjustment Act of 2002, and the current transition of oversight of the Border to the to the Department of Homeland Security and make recommendations for improvement in state law, as necessary.
- Study and make recommendations for improving colonias infrastructure, including water services, wastewater services and transportation infrastructure. All recommendations should include an analysis of cost effective alternatives for achieving results and an assessment of current efforts to improve infrastructure.
For further information, interested persons may also contact Committee Director Dan Esparza or General Counsel Laura Garcia at 512-463-0385.