Senator Lucio talks legislative session bills

83rd Texas legislative session

The 83rd Texas legislative session just wrapped up last month and one of the key players in bringing forth several important bills was Texas State Senator Eddie Lucio Jr.

The District 27 Senator said the bills he either authored or supported aimed at improving Valley lives in education, economic development, health care, and housing.

He said he spearheaded 100 bills this legislative session and was pleased to see that half of them passed.

For him a lot of his focus was placed in education and supporting items like Senate Bill 24 that brings a medical school to the valley, SB 860 which tackles the drop-out issue and SB 1724 which reduces the amount of end-of-the-year exams for high school students from 15 to 5.

SB 1724 is one of the few that has already been signed into law.

Lucio said, aside from education, he's also looked at promoting local economic development with the Space X program.

Along with Senate Bill 3042 that would implement a 2 percent hotel occupancy tax.

Currently, the state only rebates South Padre Island 1 percent of these tax dollars.

"I also voted for us, state leaders, to also take a drug test," said Lucio referring to SB 612. "And serve as role models to our children."

Senate Bill 612 would require elected officials to submit to a drug test before taking office and aims at regaining voter trust.

But his drug testing polices wouldn't end there. He also asked for those who seek unemployment to submit to a test for benefits.

"I think the state has to step up to the plate if we're going to be testing for those drugs we have to pay... now on the other hand public officials we have as candidates for public office we would have to be responsible for paying for that ."

As successful as some of these bills were, he said that he also faced disappointment on key issues like health care.

The Senator said people like Governor Rick Perry has been openly against medical assistance programs.

"The Governor, he just doesn't want to see an entitlement or any kind of waste of money I respectfully disagree. At this point he hasn't come up with an alternative plan that I can look at to say, ok governor's right."

Lucio will now wait for some of these bills to head to the governor's desk to be signed into law.