Senator Hinojosa’s Statement on TEA’s Decision to Appoint La Joya ISD Board of Managers

Yesterday, the Texas Education Agency announced the appointment of a seven-member Board of Managers and a new superintendent to oversee the operations of the La Joya Independent School District (LJISD). This decision is the result of a TEA investigation that substantiated allegations of fraud and conflicts of interest executed by members of the elected LJISD Board of Trustees.

Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa released the following statement:

“There is nothing more important to our communities, our families, and the future of our children than a strong public school system. Our dedicated La Joya ISD teachers and staff work tirelessly and do an excellent job preparing our students for success. However, for years we have seen certain board members make decisions that prioritize their own interest to enrich themselves at the expense of our children and taxpayers. Real culture and systemic changes start at the top to ensure they trickle down. While some board members were elected to do the right thing for the school district, they were not enough to overcome the majority and vote in favor of making the necessary changes. TEA determined that a fresh start was the best course of action for our students. I welcome the newly appointed board members who have accepted to serve. I look forward to their leadership in providing proper oversight and correct the mismanagement and unethical practices that have plagued the district for many years. The culture of corruption must end.”

Senator Hinojosa Announces $35.9 Million in Financial Assistance to Sharyland Water Supply Corporation from TWDB

Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa is pleased to announce that the Texas Water Development Board (“TWDB”) has approved a request from the Sharyland Water Supply Corporation (“Sharyland WSC”) of $35,910,000 in financial assistance for the construction of certain water system improvements. Sharyland WSC owns and operates three water treatment plants to exclusively serve approximately 90,846 residents residing northwest of the cities of Mission, McAllen, and Edinburg. Sharyland WSC’s project will increase water treatment capacity and address multiple issues with the treatment plants. In addition, the project will also relocate approximately 26.5 miles of waterlines to accommodate road expansion as required by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

Sharyland WSC qualified for $10 million in principal forgiveness as a disadvantaged community and a $25.91 million loan from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. Unlike the majority of water districts in Texas, Sharyland WSC, as a nonprofit water supply corporation operating under Chapter 67 of the Texas Water Code, cannot levy taxes and must rely on revenue to pay back debt. TWDB reports that no projected rate increase is anticipated by Sharyland WSC with the addition of this debt and the corporation would gain significant benefits from the state program. According to TWDB, Sharyland WSC could save approximately $19 million based on a 30-year maturity schedule.

Although the project is estimated to cost $68.7 million, the remainder of the funds to pay for the project will come from other sources. The project will be completed with $13.32 million in funding from the Environmental Protection Agency through the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), a $300,000 grant from the Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), and $19.55 million in cash contribution from the Sharyland WSC, which includes approximately $900,000 in reimbursement from TxDOT.

Senator Hinojosa recognizes the significance of this financial assistance to the future of Mission, McAllen, and Edinburg. He states, “The area Sharyland Water Supply Corporation supplies water to is one of the fastest growing areas in the Rio Grande Valley that needs a capable water provider to meet the needs of those residents and businesses. By investing in the project proposed by Sharyland Water Supply Corporation, we are taking proactive steps to ensure that economic development is not hindered by the lack of clean water.”

Senator Hinojosa extends his congratulations to the Board of Directors of Sharyland WSC for applying for the state funding. He also thanks the TWDB board members and their staff for their support and assistance in making this grant possible.

Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa Files for Re-Election to the Texas Senate

Today, Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa filed for re-election to the Texas Senate. Senator Hinojosa seeks to continue his work for Senate District 20 by providing for an educated and healthy workforce, investing in critical infrastructure, protecting our communities, creating jobs, lowering taxes, and furthering economic development. He has proven session after session that his approach to public policy and his decisions on legislation are driven by what is best for our South Texas families.

Senator Hinojosa issued the following statement:

“I am honored to serve the people of Senate District 20. There are continuing challenges and issues we need to resolve, and I am running for re-election to continue working to find solutions that benefit our communities and our state.

As Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, I have worked tirelessly to take care of the needs of our families. With the surplus funds we have had the past two sessions, I have focused on legislation and funding that increases access to quality education, affordable healthcare, safe communities, and providing tax relief for homeowners and businesses.

To ensure that our future generations, our children and grandchildren, have the resources they need to thrive, I have secured funding and supported investments in infrastructure projects including broadband, water, roads, and the electric grid. I also remain committed to supporting policies and programs that create jobs, provide training opportunities, like apprenticeships, and enhance scholarship funding for students.

As a border state, we must address the issues surrounding border security effectively. As a lifelong border resident, I understand the importance of finding comprehensive solutions that prioritize the safety and well-being of all Texans. I am committed to border security and continuing to work collaboratively to find solutions that protect our communities while upholding our values and treating everyone with dignity and respect.

I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of Senate District 20. Together, we can overcome the challenges and address the problems identified during the pandemic and the electric grid crisis. Together we can ensure a brighter and stronger future for all Texans. I humbly ask for your support and vote to continue our teamwork in benefiting our communities.”


Senator Hinojosa has received the prestigious honor of being named “Top Ten Best Legislators” for Texas Monthly magazine three times and named “Top Ten Legislator” by Capitol Inside three times.

Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa proudly represents the counties of Nueces (part), Jim Wells, Brooks, and Hidalgo (part). Senator Hinojosa currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Vice Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Redistricting, and serves on the Senate Committees on Border Security; Criminal Justice; and Jurisprudence.

Senator Hinojosa Announces Grants Awarded to Jim Wells County and Alice ISD $1.4 Million for Sidewalks; $220,000 for a Nursing Program

The Texas Transportation Commission recently announced the allocation of over $345 million for 83 projects throughout the state, aimed at improving access, safety, and mobility options for schools, jobs, public transit, and local destinations. Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa is pleased to announce that Jim Wells County is one of the recipients, having been awarded $1.4 million for the Hwy 281 Pedestrian Connectivity and Accessibility Sidewalk project.

“I appreciate the Jim Wells County Commissioners Court for their dedication and commitment to enhancing our communities,” said Senator Hinojosa. He added, “Sidewalks in our neighborhoods are important, as they not only promote safety but also foster a sense of connectivity and accessibility for all residents.”

The Transportation Alternatives program plays a vital role in supporting local projects that enhance bicycle and pedestrian amenities for individuals of all ages and abilities. These initiatives aim to improve safe access to multimodal options and connect important community destinations such as schools, jobs, downtowns, commercial areas, and medical facilities for Texans who walk, use a wheelchair, or bike.

Senator Hinojosa is also pleased to announce that the Texas Workforce Commission recently awarded five dual credit grants, totaling over $900,000, to five Texas independent school districts (ISD). Alice ISD has been awarded $220,000 for a nursing program. These grants will enable the ISDs to purchase, repair, or replace equipment for career and technical education programs that provide postsecondary training to students for high-demand industries.

“Congratulations to the Alice ISD Administration, the Trustees, and the dedicated staff for their leadership and their work on securing this important grant,” said Senator Hinojosa. “With the ongoing nursing shortage, this investment and program will not only have a positive impact in addressing the nursing shortage, but will also provide our students the skills and tools needed to get a good paying job in a high-demand occupation,” he concluded.

The Texas Workforce Commission utilizes funding from the Skills Development Fund to support, create, and expand dual credit and career and technical education programs that cater to the local demand for high-skill industries, offering well-paying job opportunities.

Support Proposition 9: A Long Overdue COLA for Retired Teachers

I encourage all Texans to vote for Proposition 9 and support our retired Texas teachers. The approval of this proposition in November will provide a much-needed Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) to certain Teacher Retirement System (TRS) members. It has been two decades since our TRS beneficiaries received a COLA, making this proposition long overdue. 

If approved by the voters in November, Proposition 9 will establish a permanent COLA to retirement benefits, ensuring that our retired teachers and other school employees receive the financial support they deserve. This significant step forward was made possible with the passage of SB 10 and HJR 2, which I co-authored, during the recent legislative session. These bills not only authorized the proposition but also secured an appropriation of $3.355 billion to fund the COLA. 

The impact of this COLA will take effect with the January 2024 annuity payment, providing much-needed relief to retired teachers who have been struggling with the loss of their purchasing power due to inflation. It is important to recognize the sacrifices our educators have made throughout their careers, and it is our duty to ensure their financial security during retirement. 

Over the past several years, I have heard countless stories from retired teachers who are living paycheck to paycheck and having to decide between buying their medication or food for their next meal. These devoted public servants have dedicated their lives to shaping the minds of our future generations, and it is only fair that we reciprocate their commitment by supporting Proposition 9. 

I would like to express my appreciation to the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) for their unwavering advocacy and tireless work in support of a COLA increase. Specifically, I want to thank Pat Macias from Alice, and Leroy DeHaven from Corpus Christi, both former TRTA Presidents, for their leadership and invaluable contributions. Their commitment to the cause and dedication to improving the lives of retired teachers has been instrumental in making this proposition a reality.

By supporting Proposition 9, we can ensure that our retired teachers and other school employees receive the financial support they deserve and that their sacrifices are recognized. Let us come together as a community and vote in favor of Proposition 9, securing a brighter future for our retired teachers and the generations they have inspired. 

Say No to School Vouchers in Texas

Governor Greg Abbott will soon be calling all legislators back to the Capitol for a third special session. The purpose of this session will be to discuss and potentially pass a school voucher bill in Texas. I want to make it clear that I have consistently voted against vouchers in the past, and I will continue to do so during this special session.

I urge teachers, school employees, and the business community to join me in opposing vouchers. Our constitution guarantees a free public education, and it is our duty to protect this fundamental right. Vouchers and scholarships that divert public funds towards private education undermine the very essence of our public school system.

Public schools play a key role in training our future workforce. They provide a comprehensive education that prepares students for the challenges of the modern world. By diverting funds to private schools through vouchers, we risk weakening our public education system and hindering the development of a skilled workforce.

Vouchers will have a negative impact on our economy. By taking away funds from public schools, we are depriving them of the resources necessary to provide a quality education. This, in turn, will hinder our ability to attract businesses and industries that rely on a well-educated workforce. Investing in public education is an investment in our state’s economic future.

It is important to address the unmet needs within our public schools before considering any diversion of funds. Our teachers and school employees deserve a pay raise for their tireless dedication to our children’s education. We can and must do more to address the high cost of health insurance for our educators and their families to ensure their well-being. We must also prioritize the safety of our students and address unmet safety needs and ensure adequate resources for school security.

Several reports, such as those issued by the Teacher Vacancy Task Force and the House Select Committee on Educational Opportunity and Enrichment, have offered great recommendations to the legislature. While some of these recommendations have been passed by either the House or the Senate, they have not been sent to the Governor for final approval. Instead, the progress of these proposals is being held hostage by the push to pass private school vouchers, which will only benefit a select few.

Vouchers will not solve the pressing issues impacting our students and teachers; instead, they will only exacerbate them. We must focus on strengthening our public education system, not dismantling it. By rallying together, we can make our voices heard and protect the future of our children and our state.

I urge teachers, school employees, and the business community to get involved. Contact your representatives, attend public hearings, and voice your concerns. Together, we can ensure that our public schools remain the cornerstone of our community, providing a quality education for all Texas students. Let us stand united against school vouchers and work towards a brighter future for our public education system. Our children deserve nothing less.

SENATOR HINOJOSA ANNOUNCES TEXAS TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION AWARDS $28.5 MILLION IN GRANTS TO PORT OF CORPUS CHRISTI

Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa is pleased to announce that the Port of Corpus Christi has been awarded $28.5 million in grants by the Texas Transportation Commission. These grants are part of the funds approved by the Texas Legislature earlier this year.

As vice chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Hinojosa has been a strong advocate and supporter of funding for maritime ports. “Our maritime ports are the lifeblood of the Texas economy, and the Port of Corpus Christi, as the #1 U.S. crude oil export gateway and #1 for annual revenue tonnage, plays a crucial role in our state’s economic success,” said Senator Hinojosa.

The grants awarded are from HB 1, the General Appropriations Act, which included $40 million for the Port Access Improvement Grant Program to improve connectivity to Texas ports. Additionally, SB 30, the Supplemental Appropriations Bill, appropriated $200,000,000 for port development and infrastructure projects.

Projects are selected by the Port Authority Advisory Committee and approved by the Texas Transportation Commission. The Port of Corpus Christi will receive:

  •  $20,818,119 for bulkhead materials terminal facility improvements, including ship loader purchase, rail improvements with conveyance upgrades.
  • $6,733,044 for the reconstruction of Sam Rankin Street from IH 37 to Port Ave.
  • $779,081 to improve the intersection at the Joe Fulton International Trade Corridor and the ADM grain elevator exit and install traffic control devices.
  • $169,021 for the Corpus Christi District Wayfinding System.

“These grants will significantly enhance the infrastructure and operations at the Port of Corpus Christi,” said Senator Hinojosa. “I appreciate the leadership of Chairman Charlie Zahn and am thankful to all Port staff for their tireless work and dedication. I will continue advocating and supporting the Port of Corpus Christi and I look forward to seeing the positive impact these investments will have on our community and the state of Texas.”

Support Broadband Expansion in Texas – Vote for Proposition 8

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed many glaring disparities in our society, particularly when it comes to access to the internet. As we navigated the challenges of remote work, online education, and virtual healthcare, it became clear how far our state and country were from ensuring that every family has reliable internet access. In an increasingly digital world, access to the internet is no longer a luxury or convenience; it is a necessity.

Recognizing the urgency of this issue, I am proud to have co-authored legislation that develops and invests in broadband and telecommunications infrastructure in Texas. To fund these investments, and create the Broadband Infrastructure Fund (BIF), voters must pass Proposition 8. This crucial initiative, if approved by voters on the November 2023 ballot, will allocate $1.5 billion in state funds to support broadband and emergency telecommunications infrastructure projects in Texas.

The BIF serves multiple purposes that are essential for bridging the digital divide. The BIF will be used to administer the Broadband Development Program, which aims to expand broadband access to underserved communities across the state. By investing in the necessary infrastructure, we can ensure that no Texan is left behind in the digital age.

Additionally, BIF will provide a state match to federal Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program funds, further leveraging resources to maximize the impact of broadband development initiatives. This past June, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced Texas’ allocation totaling $3.3 billion in federal funding for the BEAD Program. This significant investment further strengthens our efforts to bridge the digital divide in Texas and accelerate our progress in expanding broadband access.

BIF will also allocate funds to support 9-1-1 services and upgrades, recognizing the critical role that reliable emergency telecommunications play in safeguarding our communities. By providing a one-time transfer of $155.2 million to the NextGen 9-1-1 Service Fund, we can enhance emergency response capabilities and ensure that Texans have access to life-saving services when they need them most.

Lastly, BIF will allocate $75 million to the Broadband Pole Replacement Program, addressing a crucial infrastructure need. This investment will facilitate the replacement of outdated and inadequate utility poles in order to install new broadband infrastructure. These funds address the cost issue which has been a huge barrier to improving connectivity and reliability for communities across the state.

These funds are in addition to the allocation of $500.5 million in ARPA Funds authorized by the Texas Legislature in 2021 to fund critical upgrades to the state’s broadband infrastructure, furthering our ability to meet internet accessibility needs in schools, business, and homes. These funds have been instrumental in addressing the immediate needs of our communities.

The establishment of the BIF, and the previous investments for broadband, are significant steps towards achieving digital equity in Texas. However, it is crucial that we recognize that this is just the beginning. Closing the digital divide requires a comprehensive and sustained effort from all levels of government, private sector partners, and community organizations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a wake-up call, highlighting the urgent need for universal broadband access. We have a historic opportunity to bridge the digital divide in Texas and ensure that every Texan has access to the opportunities and resources that the internet provides. Proposition 8 and the establishment of the BIF are critical steps towards achieving this goal.

On the November 2023 ballot, I urge all Texans to vote in favor of Proposition 8 to allocate $1.5 billion to the Broadband Infrastructure Fund. By doing so, we authorize the use of the necessary resources to expand broadband access, support emergency telecommunications, and replace outdated infrastructure. This investment will not only improve connectivity but also empower our communities, enhance education, create economic opportunities, and save lives.

Let us come together and make a strong statement that every Texan deserves equal access to the internet. Vote for Proposition 8 and support the Broadband Infrastructure Fund. Together, we can build a more equitable and connected Texas for generations to come.

Dr. Hector P. Garcia Day – 2023

As Texans, it is important that we remember and celebrate the remarkable contributions of our state’s heroes. One such individual is Dr. Hector P. Garcia, a trailblazing figure whose legacy continues to inspire generations. In 2009, I authored and passed legislation designating the third Wednesday in September as Dr. Hector P. Garcia Day through Senate Bill 495. The bill authorized the observance of the day by schools and state agencies to honor Dr. Garcia and teach our younger generations about his legacy.

Dr. Garcia’s life story is one of extraordinary service and unwavering dedication. His military service during World War II as a U.S. Army medical officer exemplified his commitment to defending our nation’s values. His bravery and sacrifice earned him numerous accolades, including the Bronze Star for his “outstanding diligence and loyalty to duty.”

Dr. Garcia’s impact extended far beyond the battlefield. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan presented him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, for his tireless advocacy for civil rights and his unwavering commitment to improving the lives of all Americans.

Education was a cause particularly close to Dr. Garcia’s heart. He firmly believed that “Education is our Freedom, and Freedom should be Everybody’s Business,” a quote that not only served as his personal motto but also became the motto of the American GI Forum. This powerful statement captured his belief that education is the cornerstone of empowerment and that it is the responsibility of every individual to ensure that freedom and education are accessible to all.

In 1948, Dr. Garcia co-founded the American G.I. Forum, an organization dedicated to addressing the concerns of Mexican American veterans. Through this platform, he fought against discrimination, advocating for equal access to education, healthcare, and voting rights. Dr. Garcia’s unwavering commitment to justice led him to challenge the segregation of schools, hospitals, and public spaces, paving the way for a more inclusive Texas.

Dr. Garcia embodies the spirit of selflessness and public service. As a private American citizen, he exercised his constitutional rights to elevate awareness about the plight of neglected Americans. As a physician, he provided access to medical care to underserved communities. As a soldier, he demonstrated valor and sacrifice as he fought to protect our liberties. Dr. Garcia never wavered in his commitment to the United States Constitution and equality for all.

The impact of Dr. Garcia’s service and legacy on Texas cannot be overstated. His unwavering commitment to civil rights, education, and equality has left an indelible mark on our state’s history. By designating the third Wednesday of September as Dr. Hector P. Garcia Day, we ensure that future generations are aware of his remarkable contributions.

As we embark on Hispanic Heritage Month, let us take this opportunity to reflect on the invaluable contributions of Hispanic Americans like Dr. Garcia. Let us remember Dr. Hector P. Garcia’s legacy, honor his service, and strive to follow his unwavering dedication to education and equality. By doing so, we ensure that his legacy continues to shape the future of Texas for generations to come.

Labor Day 2023 Message from Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa

On Labor Day, we come together to honor and recognize the hardworking individuals who contribute to our state and nation. Whether you are a medical professional, teacher, grocery worker, truck driver, custodian, or hold any other occupation, your dedication and commitment keep our communities thriving and our economy strong. We appreciate the sacrifices you make to ensure our families are healthy, our children receive an education, and our food supply remains stocked.

Labor Day is a reminder that our workers are not just colleagues, but also our friends, family, and neighbors. They are individuals striving to provide for their families, support education, and pursue their dreams. It is our duty to support our workforce, labor unions, and those who simply want their children to have more opportunities than they did.

Let us also acknowledge the employers who create millions of jobs for Texans. From small businesses to large corporations, these entities employ over 15 million Texans and serve as the backbone of our economy.

The impact of Texas workers extends beyond our borders, and it is their sweat, dedication, and perseverance that make our state and nation second to none. Labor Day holds a special place in our hearts and serves as a day to recognize all the workers who make Texas and the U.S.A. a great place to live and raise our families. So, let us show our support to our workers not just today, but every day. A simple “thank you” can go a long way. Thank you, workers, for everything you have done and continue to do for our communities, our state, and our nation.

By the Numbers:

  • Texas currently has its largest labor force in history, with over 15 million people.
  • Texas ranks first in the nation for annual job growth, with 441,700 new positions created between July 2022 and July 2023.
  • The statewide labor force participation rate in Texas is 64.2 percent, which is 1.6 percent higher than the U.S. national average.
  • Texas has outpaced the national average in annual employment growth in 10 out of the 11 major industries.
  • In July, the number of employed individuals in Texas reached over 14.4 million, setting another record high.
  • During the month of July 2023, Texas added nearly 26,000 new private sector jobs, indicating that businesses are choosing to relocate and expand in the state.
  • Texas currently has 644,000 employers, the highest number in our state’s history, and they are the driving force behind job creation.
  • Over the past decade, Texas private sector employers have added more than 2.5 million jobs.

These numbers from the Texas Workforce Commission highlight the strength and resilience of our workforce and the positive impact they have on our economy. Let us celebrate and appreciate the contributions of our workers on this Labor Day and every day.