FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/17/2013
Rep. Guerra, successfully presented Senate Bill 24 for consideration to the entire House
AUSTIN – Last Friday, May 17, 2013 at the Capitol, the Rio Grande Valley Delegation, including Representative R.D. “Bobby” Guerra, successfully presented Senate Bill 24 for consideration to the entire House. The senate companion to house bill 1000, senate bill 24 is a widely celebrated effort to open a medical school in the Rio Grande Valley and is now one step away from the Governor’s Office to be signed into law. The legislation will not only create a new medical school in South Texas, but will also merge UT Pan American and UT Brownsville, and allow the new university to gain access to the state's Permanent University Fund — the endowment that manages billions of dollars to support higher education. The bill was amended to reach a compromise between the delegation members that was likened to family squabbles that ultimately unify. The bill as amended creates an office to oversee undergraduate education in Hidalgo County and an office to oversee graduate education in Cameron County. It says educational programs for the first two years of students' medical education should primarily be run in Hidalgo, and programs for the third and fourth year should be run in Cameron. The new university is projected to enroll 28,000 students, employ 7,000 people and generate $11 million in research expenditures.
"I commend Senator Hinojosa, Senator Lucio and Senator Zaffirini for their leadership with the Valley Delegation in passing this Senate Bill," said Representative Guerra. "Chairman Oliveira and the Valley Delegation members have been tirelessly working together to garner the support needed in the House to pass this bill. We are all very gracious and proud that this decade long dream will soon be a reality."