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      Medical school bill passes biggest hurdle

      Texas State Capitol

      The amended Senate Bill 24, which would bring a medical school to the Rio Grande Valley has been approved in full.

      The amended bill was unanimously approved in the Texas House and then approved by the Texas Senate as they voted to establish a medical school and combine the University of Texas at Brownsville and the University of Texas Pan American.

      Today, the Texas Senate approved the amended bill.

      The amendments to the bill include having administrative offices in both Hidalgo and Cameron Counties.

      The offices to oversee the undergraduate medical education would be located in Hidalgo County, while the offices overseeing the graduate part of the medical school would be located in Cameron County.

      The bill TMs amendments also state that the Rio Grande Valley Regional Academic Health Center would be located in both Harlingen and Edinburg.

      An amendment states that medical education programs will be conducted throughout the region.

      State Senator Juan Chuy Hinjosa said he is proud of the bipartisan support the bill received.

      The bill would also allow the new school to have access to the Permanent University Fund.

      We will have access to increased funding which means improved quality of life and new opportunities for our students, Representative Eddie Lucio III said last week.

      According to Representative Rene Oliveira TMs office, the new university will qualify for emerging research university status, which will place the university on a track for future development.

      This represents the hard work of many who dream of a better future for our children, house sponsor of the bill Representative Rene Oliveira said.

      Senators Hinojosa and Lucio did great work in the Senate. It is truly a great day, Oliveira said today.

      The bill has now passed its biggest hurdle and will most likely be signed into law by Governor Perry.

      The creation of this new university in South Texas is a historic moment for the future students who will fill the classrooms, proudly call this university their alma mater, and create a brighter future for themselves and their families, Governor Perry said.

      It is possible Governor Perry will have a bill signing ceremony in the Rio Grande Valley.