FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2010
AUSTIN, TX—On Thursday, April 22, Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. was honored by the Texas Public Health Association (TPHA) during their 86th Annual Conference at South Padre Island as Legislator of the Year for Legislative Excellence recognizing him for his efforts and accomplishments in support of health care. His son, Rep. Eddie Lucio III, also received the honor in a dual recognition.
Upon receiving the award, Sen. Lucio said, "It humbles me to be honored in conjunction with my son and colleague, Rep. Eddie Lucio III. I admire him more than I can express. I cannot thank you enough for this award. I have fought hard for health care, and this award only makes me want to work harder. I promise you I will strive to live up to its meaning."
Recipients of the award must have demonstrated an interest in public health issues; shown a concern for the recruitment of high quality health care workers; supported legislation which emphasized prevention and health promotion; and facilitated legislation supporting preventive health care, health care professionals and options of health care.
During the 81st Legislative Session, with support from South Texas legislators, Sen. Lucio authored Senate Bill 98, establishing the University of Texas Health Science Center-South Texas/medical school. Rep. Lucio championed the bill in the House. Previously during the 75th Legislative Session, Sen. Lucio authored Senate Bill 606, which authorized the University of Texas System to establish and operate a Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC) to serve the four counties of the Lower Rio Grande Valley (Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr and Willacy).
Also last year, Sen. Lucio passed SB 395 that Rep. Lucio carried in the House, creating an Early Childhood Health and Nutrition Interagency Council to develop a nutrition and physical activity plan to help combat childhood obesity. Another measure passed last session by both the Senator and Representative was SB 1824, establishing the Interagency Task Force for Children with Special Needs, a group to which both legislators were appointed. The task force will focus on improving the quality of services provided to children and young people with special needs.
"Health care takes center stage every session," said Sen. Lucio. "There isn't a single person who has not been touched by illness, and it is my goal to ensure that the people of Texas get quality care."
Commending the participants of the TPHA conference, Sen. Lucio concluded, "It's your drive, your commitment, and your ability to educate me that makes me work harder for health care."