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Rep. Canales supports creation of Texas legislative panel to improve governments’ transparency and accountability to citizens

Featured: Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, with his wife, Erica, on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, prior to the House District 40 state legislator addressing the Edinburg Rotary Club on various issues that affect his constituents.

Photograph By ALEX RÍOS

Texans deserve more power to know what their governments are doing, says Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, who has formally asked Speaker of the House Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, to create a special House-Senate legislative panel to improve transparency and accountability to citizens. Canales, the House District 40 state lawmaker from Hidalgo County, during his career in the Texas Legislature has authored, sponsored, and voted for legislation designed to strengthen public knowledge about the actions of local and state governments, before, during, and after such efforts by those public entities take place. “I have a proven track record of fighting for open-government legislation during my five years as a state lawmaker, through carrying measures that bear my name, and through my work in House committees and on the floor of the House of Representatives, where I have always spoken in favor and voted for dozens of measures that protect the people’s right to know about what our local and state governments are doing in our name with our public resources,” said Canales. In general, open-government is a set of beliefs that all government business should be open to regulation and scrutiny by the public. The Texas Public Information Act and the Texas Open Meetings Act are the two most powerful sets of laws in the state regarding public disclosure of actions of local and state governments. During the recently-concluded 85th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature, which was held from January through May 2017, Canales authored one of the few proposals dealing with open government and public information that became state law. As of September 1, 2017, as a result of Canales’ House Bill 214, the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals – the highest courts in the state – are required to dramatically improve the ability of the public to see what is going on in the two Austin-based powerful trial courts. “Recording and broadcasting courtroom proceedings can promote transparency and allow the public to evaluate the efficacy of the judicial system,” explained Canales. “To increase the public’s access to the judicial branch, H.B. 214 builds upon previous policies by requiring the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to make video recordings of their oral arguments, and any open meeting the courts have, and publish the recordings on their respective websites.” The Texas Supreme Court is the state’s highest court for civil matters, and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is the state’s highest court for criminal matters.  

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South Texas International Film Festival 2016 among items on agenda on Tuesday, August 30, for Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors

08_28_16 ___ South Texas International Film Festival 2016 among items on agenda on Tuesday, August 30, for Edinburg Economic Development Corporation

Featured: Hollywood stars David Barrera, originally from San Juan, and his actress wife, María Canals-Barrera, will highlight South Texas International Film Festival 2016. This year marks the second anniversary of the event and the City of Edinburg is proud to welcome two of Hollywood’s finest.

Photograph Courtesy DANIEL MICHAEL SEKULA MEMORIAL LIBRARY

With multi-million dollar movie theaters already part of the growing entertainment industry in the city – including the Valley’s first IMAX set to open for business early next year – the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation on Tuesday, August 30, 2016, will consider a plan to help sponsor the second-annual South Texas International Film Festival 2016. The South Texas International Film Festival and Conference 2016 will be held at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance on Friday, September 9, and Saturday, September 10, with a special Opening Night Screening to take place at Carmike 20 Cinemas in Edinburg the evening of Thursday, September 8. For more details about the South Texas International Film Festival, or to get involved, call Arts Coordinator, Magdiel Alfonso at (956) 383-6246 or visit http://www.stxff.us. In addition, the Board of Directors of the Edinburg EDC – which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council – in open session will also review the proposed budget for the upcoming year, consider the election of officers for the five-member governing board, and review possible action relating to agreements/contracts with the City of Edinburg regarding the purchase of surplus property and real property.

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Open Government Seminar, available to the public, set for Thursday, June 9, at McAllen Chamber of Commerce, announces Rep. Canales

Open Government Seminar, available to the public, set for Thursday, June 9, at McAllen Chamber of Commerce, announces Rep. Canales

Featured, from left: Harvey Rodríguez, Jr., Vice-President, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, and Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, at Canales’ District Office in Edinburg on Monday, December 14, 2015.

Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

An Open Government seminar, offered by the Office of the Texas Attorney General and the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, will take place on Thursday, June 9, 2016 at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, 1200 Ash Avenue, Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, has announced. “Access to public records gives our citizens the opportunity to participate in public life, help set priorities, and hold their governments accountable. A free flow of information can be an important tool for building trust between a government and its citizens. Public access to our government’s work is a fundamental human right,” said Canales. “Democracies die behind closed doors. The First Amendment, through a free press, protects the people’s right to know that their government acts fairly, lawfully, and accurately.”

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Project Domain, city’s soccer park to be reviewed in open session at City Hall on Tuesday, April 26 during monthly meeting of Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation

Photograph Courtesy MARCI CALTABIANO

About 300 11th-grade high school students and their fathers and/or mentors from throughout South Texas participated in the Together in Educational Success (TIES) conference at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in early April. The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, along with the City of Edinburg, promote the best interests of UTRGV and the UTRGV School of Medicine though its extensive legislative lobbying efforts before the UT System Board of Regents, the Texas Legislature, and Congress.

Photograph Courtesy MARCI CALTABIANO

Possible action on several current and new job creation strategies being considered by the Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation will take place beginning at noon on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 in the Council Chamber at Edinburg City Hall, the EEDC has announced. The two items scheduled to be deliberated in open session are interlocal agreements with the City of Edinburg regarding Project Domain and the city’s soccer park. In executive session, the following issues will be reviewed: Project Urban; Project Grindstone; the monumentation at the North Industrial Park; Project Square; Project Quest; and a development agreement with VICA Enterprises, L.P.

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