Lucio Masthead Graphic
October 20, 2006
Contact: Doris Sanchez, Press Secretary
(512) 463-0385
WHO: State Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., Chair, and Members of the Committee
WHAT: Senate International Relations and Trade Committee Hearing
WHEN: Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2006, at 9 a.m.
WHEN: Austin, E1.012 (Capitol Extension)

AUSTIN, TX -- Chairman Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville) will hold a meeting of the Senate International Relations and Trade Committee (IRT) to address the economic development needs of Texas communities and to develop recommendations that will increase the commerce competitiveness of our cities and businesses, among other matters.

The committee will work with community leaders to develop the appropriate legislative recommendations and initiatives that will engender greater development, foster critical growth and address the infrastructure needs of rural and distressed communities in the state, including colonias. The charges assigned to IRT by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst are:

  • Study state and federal programs aimed at assisting cities and businesses to compete in national and international markets. Develop recommendations to increase the competitiveness of Texas communities and entities in trade and commerce.
  • Study and develop recommendations to address the infrastructure and economic development needs of border and coastal communities in rural and non-urban areas of Texas.
  • Study and report on the availability of housing in distressed areas of the state, especially along the Border colonias and rural Texas. Review state, federal and private initiatives aimed at providing housing assistance. Work with private and non-profit entities to address the growing housing needs. Develop recommendations for the cost-effective use of existing housing monies, leveraging of funds and initiatives for new funding sources.
  • Review state and local policies impacting the water/wastewater services, transportation and health infrastructure needs of Texas colonias. Work with the Texas Water Development Board, the Office of the Attorney General and the Colonia Coordinator to develop recommendations aimed at improving and strengthening the available resources and policies affecting economically distressed areas.

Members of the committee include state Senators Eliot Shapleigh, vice-chair, (D-El Paso), Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler), Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls), Troy Fraser, (R-Horseshoe Bay), Kel Seliger, (R-Amarillo) and Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo).