On Tuesday afternoon, the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Council welcomed Texas State Senator Pete Flores (TX-19), Representative Steve Allison (TX-121) and Representative Ray Lopez (TX-125) for a Bexar County Delegation Freshman Panel.
When the members of the Bexar County Delegation were asked to describe the legislative session, Sen. Flores called the session “historic,” and mentioned his work on health and human services in the finance committee securing $190.3 million dollars to the San Antonio State Hospital. Flores expressed his disappointment at the current state of the hospital and mentioned he did not know how it got so bad in the first place. However, he is eager to see what the new $190-million-dollar allocation will do for the hospital and community.
Rep. Steve Allison called the session “successful” especially regarding education in Texas. Allison mentioned his work on property tax and school finance, and he is confident the state should be able to bring more training for teachers, better pay and incentives for school staff with some of the school financing policy he has worked on. Through his work on the House Public Education committee, Rep. Allison was able to increase the basic allotment by nearly eight hundred dollars per student along with passing meaningful legislation [House Bill 3] that addresses mental health, bullying, and school safety.
The Public Policy Council room erupted with laughter as Rep. Ray Lopez described the session as “a lot of work.” Lopez was recently elected to his position as a State Representative for District 125. He discussed the difficulties of returning to politics after retirement along with some of the policy he has passed in his short time at the Capitol. Lopez stated, “I believe you should put your money where your values are… and we did” regarding the importance of building on education and tax reform for Texas. Lopez mentioned his progress on the House Transportation Committee and how “more must be done on transportation.” Lopez stated that San Antonio needs a true multimodal transportation network, and he hopes to see the city introduce a plan to meet San Antonio’s transportation needs.
Overall, the delegates seemed very pleased with the outcome of their first legislative session. Senator Flores stated, “It was a good session for finance,” describing the robust state budget as what allowed him to draw $200 million dollars to San Antonio for jobs and infrastructure. All three delegates shared their desire to continue working hard on education, transportation, health, economic growth and much more next session. The members of the Bexar County Delegation and the Council hope to see a continuance of overall growth for San Antonio and Texas.
To view the panel discussion, click here.