2016 Regional SHC Latino Summit – El Paso

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      Lower tuition requires more investment from Texas Legislature

      by Senator José Rodríguez in the Texas Tribune—

      I agree with Texas lawmakers saying we must rein in college tuition costsborne by students.  However, too many blame universities, ignoring the major contributor to student costs: legislators who deregulated tuition, then under-funded universities. If lawmakers want to reduce tuition, we …

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      Top 10 percent rule isn’t broken

      by State Sen. Jose Rodriguez for the San Antonio Express-News—

      There are no shortages of controversies when it comes to higher education policy in Texas. During the next legislative session, we should expect debate on rising tuition costs and tuition deregulation, Hazlewood Act benefits and performance-based funding for universities. One …

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      Desal project gets $2M state grant

      by Marty Schladen—

      AUSTIN — The El Paso Water Utility got a boost this week in a partnership meant to make the Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant more productive. The Governor’s Texas Military Preparedness Commission on Thursday awarded a $2 million grant for …

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      Student voter initiative in El Paso encourages turnout

      by state Sen. Jose Rodriguez, special to the Star-Telegram—

      President Obama didn’t mince words when calling out Texas leaders’ abysmal record for supporting Texans’ right to vote. “The folks who are governing the good state of Texas aren’t interested in having more people participate,” Obama said March 11 during …

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      Solar rate case is Texas precedent

      by state Sen. José Rodríguez, special to the Rio Grande Guardian—

      For the first time, the Public Utility Commission of Texas will decide if electric companies can systematically overcharge homeowners who chose to install solar panels. A rate case from El Paso follows similar proposals in other states, and will have …

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      Rodríguez: El Paso Electric solar class eliminates choice

      by state Sen. José Rodríguez, special to the El Paso Times—

      With the most annual direct sunlight in the state, Far West Texas and El Paso should be leading efforts to promote solar energy. However, El Paso Electric’s proposal will stifle rooftop solar, crippling small businesses and eliminating consumer choice. This …

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      Bill gives mental health help to veterans

      by State Sen. Jose Rodriguez, state Rep. Joseph Moody, and state Rep. Cesar Blanco—

      In addition to the nearly 150,000 active duty service members based at our state’s 15 military installations, Texas is home to more than 1.7 million veterans. In our region, El Paso is home to about 50,000 veterans as well as …

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        A former migrant farm worker, Jose understands that education is the key to individual and community success. He’s fought for equitable funding, innovative programs, and access to higher education.

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        Border Issues

        José firmly believes that the future of the Border is the future of the State (and indeed the nation). Jose’s message is clear: The border is an opportunity for Texas and the U.S.

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        Access to healthcare is a critical issue for El Paso, the state, and the nation. We can do better when it comes to ensuring access to affordable, quality health care for million of Texans.

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        Jobs & Economy

        While El Paso is making significant economic gains, its low tax base, high unemployment, and lack of high paying jobs are a barrier to economic prosperity. Young college graduates are unable to find sufficient job opportunities and leave, while other workers find only low wage jobs.

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        Government & Ethics

        Across the nation, including in El Paso, public corruption has grown like a cancer and tested the will of citizens to reign in those who spread it.

        “Pay to play “in the government procurement process, gifts, and other undue influences

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        Public Safety

        Despite El Paso’s designation as the second safest city in the nation, the drug war violence in Cd. Juarez, Mexico has raised legitimate concerns about spill over violence into El Paso. Of particular concern are transnational gangs operating in El Paso that work for the drug cartels.

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        Adequate transportation and related infrastructure remain a critical need in El Paso; without them, El Paso’s progress will be stymied. State transportation funding has literally dried up and our challenge is to find new ways of generating funds to meet transportation needs. 

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