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Featured: Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, addresses fellow Coastal Bend members of the Texas Senate and House of Representatives, as well as university and community leaders, during an Appreciation Reception hosted for them by the Texas A&M System on Tuesday, October 15, 2016 at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. On Thursday, January 19, 2017, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick announced Senate committee assignments for the 85th Legislative Session. Hinojosa will serve as Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee and as a member on the Senate Transportation Committee. He will continue his appointments to the Senate Committees on Natural Resources and Economic Development, and Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs. He also continues to serve on the Sunset Advisory Commission. The Edinburg Mayor, Edinburg City Council, and Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors lobby the Texas Legislature and Congress on issues that benefit and protect Edinburg citizens.

Photograph Courtesy TEXAS A&M CORPUS CHRISTI

As the Texas Legislature, Congress and President Trump begin the early days of their respective sessions and administration, the Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation will meet at noon on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 to continue building their efforts to promote the Edinburg Mayor’s and Edinburg City Council’s priorities at the state and federal levels. As part of their agenda for the meeting, which will be held in the Council Chamber of Edinburg City Hall, Edinburg EDC board members also will have about a dozen items to review, including two matters set for possible action that deal with state and federal lawmakers. In open session, the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors are scheduled to discuss and consider authorizing the executive director to renew the lease agreement with Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, who through the Texas House of Representatives, maintains his House District 40 office in the city’s downtown. In executive session, where under state law the EEDC Board of Directors and its staff meet are allowed to meet behind closed doors in a conference room located behind the Council Chamber, officials will deliberate authorizing the executive director to enter into an interlocal agreement with the City of Edinburg regarding legislative services conducted by Holland & Knight of Washington, D.C. The Edinburg EDC, whose Executive Director is Agustín García, Jr., is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Ruppert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Agustín García, Jr. are not related.

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Legislative and business plans set for review beginning at noon on Tuesday, January 24 by Edinburg Economic Development Corporation

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

As the Texas Legislature, Congress and President Trump begin the early days of their respective sessions and administration, the Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation will meet at noon on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 to continue building their efforts to promote the mayor’s and city council’s priorities at the state and federal levels.

The Edinburg EDC, whose Executive Director is Agustín García, Jr., is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council.

The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr., as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Ruppert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members.

Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Agustín García, Jr. are not related.

As part of their agenda for the Tuesday, January 24, 2016 meeting, which will be held in the Council Chamber of Edinburg City Hall, Edinburg EDC board members also will have about a dozen items to review, including two matters set for possible action that deal with state and federal lawmakers.

Edinburg City Hall is located at 415 W. University Drive.

The meeting, which is open to the public, also will be broadcast live on the Edinburg Cable Network, as well as on broadcast live and available in an archived version on the city’s website at http://www.cityofedinburg.com/ecnlivestreaming.php.

In open session, the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors are scheduled to discuss and consider authorizing the executive director to renew the lease agreement with Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, who through the Texas House of Representatives, maintains his House District 40 office in the city’s downtown.

Canales’s House District 40 office is located at 101 North 10th Avenue, Suite B, in an office complex owned by the Edinburg EDC, immediately west of the Hidalgo County Courthouse. The state lawmaker, who began his third two-year term on Tuesday, January 10, 2017, opened his current District Office in early February 2014.

House District 40 includes portions or all of Edinburg, Elsa, Faysville, La Blanca, Linn, Lópezville, McAllen, Pharr, San Carlos and Weslaco.

In executive session, where under state law the EEDC Board of Directors and its staff meet are allowed to meet behind closed doors in a conference room located behind the Council Chamber, officials will deliberate authorizing the executive director to enter into an interlocal agreement with the City of Edinburg regarding legislative services conducted by Holland & Knight of Washington, D.C.

Any decision on executive session items, if approved, must be voted upon by the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors in public, when they return from the closed door portion of the meeting

An interlocal agreement is generally defined as a written contract between local government agencies such as a city, a county, a school board or a constitutional office. Interlocal agreements between public agencies should result in mutual benefits for all of the parties involved, according to LegalBeagle.com. In essence, an interlocal agreement is a collaborative contract between public bodies aiming to provide more efficient, less costly public services.

On October 18, 2016, the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council entered into an agreement to retain the services of Holland & Knight of Washington, D.C. for legislative consulting services, primarily in Washington, D.C., but also, as needed, out of Austin.

The contract, effective October 1, 2016 though September 30, 2017, is being paid by the city to Holland & Knight at the rate of $12,000 (twelve thousand) a month, which includes the services of The Vela Group.

Leading to the Edinburg EDC’s scheduled action on Tuesday, January 24, 2016, the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council on Tuesday, January 3, 2017, agreed to enter into an interlocal agreement with the Edinburg EDC so that the EDC will reimburse the city for 50 percent of $144,000 one-year contract with that Holland & Knight, effective October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017.

Holland & Knight’s responsibilities as the Edinburg’s liaison features the following duties:

• To keep the administrative staff of the City and the Edinburg EDC aware of all pending bills which might impact the city and the economy, and to promote business development of the City and Edinburg EDC;

• To advocate or oppose legislation on behalf of the City and Edinburg EDC;

• To advocate and lobby for the City and the Edinburg EDC to state and federal agencies for the development, funding and betterment of the City and Edinburg EDC projects;

• To coordinate, when necessary, with state and federal elected officials to promote City and Edinburg EDC business; and

• To draft and/or assist with drafting legislation on behalf of the City and the Edinburg EDC.

Other key items on the agenda for the Edinburg EDC Board of Directors for the Tuesday, January 24, 2017 public session, include:

Open Session:

• Presentation by Daniel Rivera with Grindstone; and

• Discuss and consider ratifying a lease agreement with HMT Construction, Inc..

Executive Session

• Deliberate possible action regarding Project Barn; Deliberate authorizing the Executive Director to enter into a Development Agreement with Central Materials, LLC.

In general, a development agreement is a contract between two parties establishing an agreement over development of a product or service, according to eHow.com. These agreements are used in the development of many types of products such as prescription drugs, computer software and websites. Development agreements are created for protecting the rights of both parties, but especially the rights of the creator of the product or service. These agreements are legally binding and offer details of the development process and agreement.

• Deliberate authorizing the Executive Director to enter into a Development Agreement with RGV Cosmetic Surgery & Vein Care;

• Deliberate authorizing the Executive Director to enter into an Interlocal Agreement with the City of Edinburg regarding the Community Bike Share Program with UTRGV;

• Deliberate authorizing the Executive Director to enter into a Development Agreement with Anaya Welding & Lease Service, Inc.;

• Deliberate possible action regarding the Lease Agreement with Nu-C0 Tool, Inc.;

• Deliberate authorizing the Executive Director to enter into a Developmental Agreement with RJG Retirement Services, LLC; and

• Deliberate authorizing the Executive Director to amend the Development Agreement with First Hartford Realty.

SEN. HINOJOSA RECEIVES KEY LEGISLATIVE APPOINTMENTS, INCLUDING VICE-CHAIRMANSHIP OF STATE BUDGET-WRITING SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE

Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, who also represents a large portion of Edinburg, will serve as Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee and as a new member of the Senate Transportation Committee, among other panels during the ongoing 85th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature.

He was appointed to those posts by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, R-Houston.

Hinojosa also will continue his appointments to the Senate Committees on Natural Resources and Economic Development, and Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs. He also continues to serve on the Sunset Advisory Commission.

His continued appointment as Vice Chair of Senate Finance and his new appointment to the Transportation Committee secures his influential leadership position and his significant impact on the state budget-writing process that will benefit our South Texas region, Hinojosa said.

“I am honored to serve as Vice Chair of Senate Finance and that Lt. Gov. Patrick has entrusted me with these important responsibilities,” said the Senate District 20 lawmaker. “I am also looking forward to serving on the Transportation Committee, as transportation is the lifeblood of our economy.”

He added that South Texas is increasingly playing a larger role in shaping our state’s future and he is committed to protecting funds for local communities.

“There is no question that this session will be challenging as state revenues are much lower than in past years. However, we must fund education and essential healthcare services, invest in our youth and workforce through education and skills training, create more jobs, and invest in the infrastructure we need for future success,” said Hinojosa, who was reelected to a four-year term in the November 2016 general election.

“Through these appointments I am able to put South Texas at the forefront of critical discussions and negotiations that will take place this session,” he added. “I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to bring forth viable solutions that will benefit our Texas families.”

Hinojosa’s Senate District 20 includes the counties of Nueces, Jim Wells, Brooks, and Hidalgo (part).

Hinojosa, an attorney with his law office in McAllen, served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1981 to 1991, then again from 1997 to 2003, and has served in the Texas Senate since 2003.

The Lt. Governor, through authority provided to him by the 31 members of the Texas Senate, creates the Senate Committees, names the chairs of the panels, and makes of the appointments to those legislative bodies.

Constituents may obtain details on the powers and duties of each Senate committee by contacting their respective state senators.

According to the Office of the Texas Lt. Governor, these are the standing committees in the Senate for the 85th Regular Session and Interim (January 2017 through December 2019), and their respective members:

Administration

Lois Kolkhorst – Chair
Konni Burton – Vice-Chair
Don Huffines
Bryan Hughes
Robert Nichols
Royce West
Judith Zaffirini

Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs

Charles Perry – Chair
José Rodríguez – Vice-Chair
Brandon Creighton
Bob Hall
Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa
Lois Kolkhorst
Borris Miles

Business & Commerce

Kelly Hancock – Chair
Brandon Creighton – Vice-Chair
Donna Campbell
Craig Estes
Robert Nichols
Charles Schwertner
Larry Taylor
John Whitmire
Judith Zaffirini

Criminal Justice

John Whitmire – Chair
Joan Huffman – Vice-Chair
Brian Birdwell
Konni Burton
Brandon Creighton
Sylvia García
Bryan Hughes
José Menéndez
Charles Perry

Education

Larry Taylor – Chair
Eddie Lucio, Jr. – Vice-Chair
Paul Bettencourt
Donna Campbell
Bob Hall
Don Huffines
Bryan Hughes
Kel Seliger
Van Taylor
Carlos Uresti
Royce West

Finance

Jane Nelson – Chair
Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa – Vice-Chair
Paul Bettencourt
Brian Birdwell
Kelly Hancock
Joan Huffman
Lois Kolkhorst
Robert Nichols
Charles Schwertner
Kel Seliger
Larry Taylor
Carlos Uresti
Kirk Watson
Royce West
John Whitmire

Health & Human Services

Charles Schwertner – Chair
Carlos Uresti – Vice-Chair
Dawn Buckingham
Konni Burton
Lois Kolkhorst
Borris Miles
Charles Perry
Van Taylor
Kirk Watson

Higher Education

Kel Seliger – Chair
Royce West – Vice-Chair
Paul Bettencourt
Dawn Buckingham
José Menéndez
Larry Taylor
Kirk Watson

Intergovernmental Relations

Eddie Lucio, Jr. – Chair
Paul Bettencourt – Vice-Chair
Donna Campbell
Sylvia García
Don Huffines
José Menéndez
Van Taylor

Natural Resources & Economic Development

Craig Estes – Chair
Judith Zaffirini – Vice-Chair
Konni Burton
Sylvia García
Kelly Hancock
Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa
Don Huffines
Borris Miles
José Rodríguez
Kel Seliger
Van Taylor

Nominations

Brian Birdwell – Chair
Kirk Watson – Vice-Chair
Dawn Buckingham
Craig Estes
José Menéndez
Borris Miles
Van Taylor

State Affairs

Joan Huffman – Chair
Bryan Hughes – Vice-Chair
Brian Birdwell
Brandon Creighton
Craig Estes
Eddie Lucio, Jr.
Jane Nelson
Charles Schwertner
Judith Zaffirini

Transportation

Robert Nichols – Chair
Bob Hall – Vice-Chair
Brandon Creighton
Sylvia García
Kelly Hancock
Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa
Lois Kolkhorst
Charles Perry
José Rodríguez

Veteran Affairs & Border Security

Donna Campbell – Chair
Don Huffines – Vice-Chair
Dawn Buckingham
Bob Hall
Eddie Lucio, Jr.
José Rodríguez
Carlos Uresti

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Jennifer Sáenz contributed to this article. For more information on the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and the City of Edinburg, please log on to http://edinburgedc.com or to http://www.facebook.com/edinburgedc.

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