Featured: Rep. Sergio Muñoz, Jr., D-Mission, in his seat at his desk on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives.
Photograph by PETER SALINAS
Rep. Sergio Muñoz, Jr., D-Mission, whose legislation protects children, consumers, crime victims, and public education, will seek a fifth, two-year term as state lawmaker for House District 36, a key South Texas region which includes all or parts of the cities of Hidalgo, Granjeño, McAllen, Mission, Palmview and Pharr. Muñoz, whose achievements have earned him membership to key House legislative panels, including the powerful House Committee on Appropriations, also has used his eight years experience in the Texas Legislature to make improvements on border trade and economic prosperity, educational funding and opportunities for students, teachers and education professionals, while successfully championing a higher quality-of-life and access to health care for his constituents. “There is no substitute for experience in life, and the same goes for the Texas Legislature,” said Muñoz, an attorney by profession. “When it comes to getting results for our area, I have an expert knowledge of the legislative process, so I know how to work with my colleagues and the state leadership, and I am able to get big things done for us in House District 36.” Muñoz and his wife María Elena have three children – Gael Sebastián, Sergio Emiliano, and Caterina Violetta. He is the son of former Rep. Sergio Muñoz, Sr., a local healthcare businessman and Connie Muñoz, a long-time educator from the Mission area. His sister, Marla Muñoz-López, is a healthcare professional. He attributes his success and commitment towards civic duty to the values instilled by his parents and strengthened by his love for his family. In addition to his immediate family and his service in the Texas Legislature, Muñoz is a civil and criminal law attorney and sole principal of the Muñoz Law Firm, serving the South Texas region. He served as a Municipal Judge in Palmview, Texas and is a member of the Hidalgo County Bar Association. Beyond his professional service, Representative Muñoz is a member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and the Knights of Columbus. He attends both Our Lady of the Guadalupe Catholic Church and St. John of the Field’s Catholic Church. Muñoz has served in the Texas Legislature since 2011 and represents all or parts of the cities of Hidalgo, Granjeño, McAllen, Mission, Palmview and Pharr. His Capitol office is located at CAP 4S.4 in the Texas Capitol, and may be reached at (512) 463-0704. His District Office is located at 121 E. Tom Landry, Mission, and may be reached at (956) 584-8999.
Featured, from left: McAllen City Commissioner Omar Quintanilla; Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen; McAllen Mayor Jim Darling; Dr. John Krouse, UTRGV Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine; and UTRGV President Guy Bailey, on Wednesday, October 11, 2o17 at the Medical Education Building in Edinburg.
Photograph By PAUL CHOUY
The City of McAllen presented a $1 million check to The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine on Wednesday, October 11, 2017, at the Medical Education Building on the Edinburg Campus. The contribution is in support of the school’s mission to educate students and residents and provide increased access to healthcare. The payment is part of a memorandum of understanding UTRGV signed with McAllen and other Valley cities to support and ensure the success of the School of Medicine. “We are grateful for the City of McAllen’s support of the School of Medicine,” said UTRGV President Guy Bailey. “These funds will support UTRGV and the School of Medicine in its mission to engage in innovative research, clinical care and the training of the next generation of physicians for the Rio Grande Valley.” McAllen Mayor Jim Darling said the payment by the City of McAllen is its contribution to help improve the health and prosperity of the region. “In order to help the entire Rio Grande Valley grow and improve – as a community, in business, and most importantly, in our health – then a strong and vibrant UTRGV School of Medicine is tantamount to help make that possible,” he said. Dr. John H. Krouse, Dean of the School of Medicine and Vice President for Health Affairs, said McAllen’s support further solidifies the partnership between the UTRGV School of Medicine and the communities it serves. “It will allow our faculty, medical residents and students to continue providing healthcare to those who otherwise would not have access to care,” Krouse said, “and it will help fund the innovative research that addresses the healthcare needs of the Valley community.”
Featured, seated, from left: Rep. John Zerwas, M.D., R-Katy, the Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, and Rep. Óscar Longoria, D-La Joya, the Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, prepare to lay out the proposed $217+ billion, two-year state budget late last spring on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives. On Friday, October 13, 2017, Longoria was appointed by Zerwas to serve as Vice-Chairman of the newly formed Subcommittee on Disaster Impact and Recovery, which is part of the 27-member House Committee on Appropriations.
Photograph By HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY
Featured: Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, son Terry Andrés II, and Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, during a break on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives during the special session of the Texas Legislature held earlier this summer. Canales is married to Erica E. Canales, whose family also features Caleb Ezra, Catalina, Juliana and Trígo. They live in Edinburg.
Photograph By HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY
Noting his successes on behalf of economic development and jobs creation, criminal justice reform, and openness, accountability, and honesty in government, Rep. Terry Canales, a Democrat who represents House District 40 in Hidalgo County, has announced his bid for reelection to a fourth term in the Texas House of Representatives. The Democratic and Republican Party primaries for all state representative seats in Texas are scheduled for early March 2018, with the general election to be held in November 2018, for new two-year terms to begin in mid-January 2019, when the 86th Texas Legislature convenes for its five-month regular session. “My record speaks for itself – it is public and available for all to see on key websites, including my Facebook Page (facebook.com/RepTerryCanales/) and at http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/,” Canales said. “With the conclusion of the recent special session of the Texas Legislature, which ended on August 15, I have been back in the Rio Grande Valley, meeting with community leaders and preparing for the 86th Texas Legislature.” The Edinburg-based attorney emphasized the importance of House District 40 residents being involved in all aspects of the state legislative process. “As always, I look forward to receiving ideas from my my constituents on what state laws and policies are needed to help them in their businesses, their jobs, and with their families,” Canales said. “This office does not belong to me, it belongs to all of the people of House District 40. I always ask for their help and advice in being a leader who is also their servant.” A constituent is a person who lives in an area for which they are able, if qualified, to vote for elected officials. A constituent does not have to be a property owner to be qualified to vote. Canales, D-Edinburg, who was born in Hidalgo County and is a native of South Texas, was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2012. His legislative district, anchored by the majority of Edinburg, covers the heart of Hidalgo County, and includes Elsa, north Pharr, San Carlos, La Blanca, Faysville, and portions of McAllen and Weslaco. “House District 40, the Rio Grande Valley, and all of South Texas continue to build into amazing economic powerhouses for Texas and our nation because of our people, our work ethic, our education and skills, and our relentless drive for excellence,” said Canales. “It is an honor and a privilege for me to help the people of this tremendous region to share in the American Dream, so that everyone has opportunities to be happy and successful.”
Featured, Terry Andrés Canales, II, son of Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, seated at his father’s desk on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives in a photo posted on the state lawmaker’s Facebook page on Monday, July 24, 2017. The youngster, one of five children of Terry and Erica E. Canales, is set to undergo a series of heart surgeries at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio beginning on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, for a heart defect called coarctation of the aorta. According to http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/coarctation-of-the-aorta: “Coarctation of the aorta is a congenital heart defect where the aorta is narrowed (obstructed) and usually occurs just past the left subclavian artery (supplies blood to the left upper body) and results in decreased blood flow to the lower body. The left ventricle (pumping chamber) of the heart must work harder in order to pump blood through the narrowed aorta.”
Photograph Courtesy REP. TERRY CANALES FACEBOOK
Terry Andrés Canales, II, a son of Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, and wife Erica E. Canales, is set to undergo a series of heart surgeries at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio beginning on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, for a heart defect called coarctation of the aorta. In addition to Terry Andrés Canales, II, the House District 40 state representative and his wife also a parents to Caleb Ezra, Trígo, and Catalina, and the lawmaker is the stepfather of Juliana Figueroa. “I would be less than honest if I said we weren’t racked with fear of the uncertain, and that this hasn’t consumed our every waking moment for the last several months and left us virtually sleepless,” the House District 40 lawmaker readily acknowledged in his Facebook posting on Sunday, August 20, 2017. “But our faith in God is unwavering. Their son, “Bebo”, was two years old when he was diagnosed with the heart defect, Canales explained on his Facebook page. “Our family has hoped and prayed that the situation would correct itself, but with every passing follow up, that didn’t seem to be the case,” Canales said. “This Wednesday (August 23, 2017), my wife and I will travel to Columbus, Ohio with him where he will undergo the first of what we are told will be a series of heart surgeries.”
Featured: Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, looks out at the Texas Capitol grounds in Austin as he handles calls from constituents during a break from legislative debate on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives earlier this spring 2017.
Photograph By HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY
Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday, June 15, 2017, approved House Bill 351 by Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, which will help do away with a decades-old injustice which results in hundreds of thousands of Texans going to jail every year because they are too poor to pay fines for traffic tickets and other Class C misdemeanors. HB 351 was one of 12 measures passed by Canales which were approved by the Texas Legislature and the governor following the five-month regular session, which ended on Monday, May 31, 2017. Those 12 now-enacted state laws covered a wide range of issues, from protecting veterans and victims of family violence, to advancing medical education, creating more jobs, and promoting open government. In addition, Canales also served as a joint author or co-author of 24 other bills. The legislator who files a bill and guides it through the legislative process is the author (also called the primary author). The Senate allows multiple primary authors for each bill or resolution. The House of Representatives allows only one primary author, the house member whose signature appears on the original measure and on the copies filed with the chief clerk. Both chambers also have coauthors, and the house of representatives has joint authors. Canales said HB 351 represents a “sweeping reform” of the state’s criminal justice system. “In Texas, at the rate we are going, we were going to eventually be throwing a million poor people in jail every year for failure to pay tickets, fines and fees arising from court cases,” explained the House District 40 lawmaker, who is an attorney. “We have too many Texans statewide who are struggling to pay rent and groceries, then they wind up getting ticketed and getting jailed for the most minor offenses, such as traffic violations.” For Class C misdemeanors, there is no jail time, and the fine is limited up to $500. But a person can be put in jail for not paying the fines, and other related costs, such as failure to appear in court. Canale added that the border of jailing all these people for petty crimes ultimately falls on the shoulders of taxpayers. “This whole system of putting poor people in jail has become a convenient cash cow for our government, which wants to squeeze money out of indigent Texans,” he said. “HB 351 provides a much better way for minor offenders to pay their debt to society without unjustly putting them behind bars.” Canales is the primary author of HB 351 while Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, by carrying HB 351 in the Senate, is the primary sponsor of the legislation. The measure, which won final support in the House of Representatives on a huge, bipartisan vote of 132 Yeas, 11 Nays, and 2 Present, Not Voting.