AUSTIN, TX—The City of Laredo delegation met with more leaders in our state capital today as part of their 2018 State Legislative Trip.
The morning began with a meeting with Texas Public Utility Commission Chairman DeAnn Walker to discuss an LED light conversion pilot program, support for broadband infrastructure, and support for public service announcements asking the public and private businesses to conserve energy in times of high demand.
In a meeting with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Aviation Division Director David Fulton, the City of Laredo discussed aviation sales tax rededication, funding for Laredo International Airport capital improvement program and the Laredo International Airport Land Use Master Plan that is currently being developed as it relates to cargo, general aviation, medical and commercial use. The delegation also reiterated the importance of transportation funding formulas to Rep. Terry Canales (D-Edinburg).
In a meeting with Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa’s (D-McAllen) chief of staff, Luis Moreno, the delegation also discussed funding formulas from TxDOT, border security including designs for a bulk head structure on the Rio Grande, and the importance of a health facility to begin detox and triage for those who are under the influence and suffering from behavioral health issues.
The delegation also visited with Senator Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) about legislative priorities for the current legislative session. Senator Zaffirini recognized the City of Laredo on the floor of the Texas Senate, as did Rep. Richard P. Raymond (D-Laredo) on the Texas House floor.
From there, city officials and the business sector met with several more legislators including Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville), Rep. Tracy O. King (D-Batesville), Rep. Poncho Nevarez (D-Eagle Pass), and the Office of the Governor to discuss economic development, crime reduction efforts, border security and the need for a Laboratory Response Network that would allow Laredo to function as an emergency response lab for the state and the nation, with the ability to detect diseases that come across the border.
The delegation also met with the Office of the Texas Lieutenant Governor, Chief of Staff Darrel Davila, to discuss topics of economic development, ideas for the old hospital and grants for cities with blight areas.
At 6:00 p.m., the delegation, along with Sen. Judith Zaffirini, and Rep. Richard Raymond hosted Laredo Day at the Stephen F. Austin Intercontinental Hotel in Austin, where state policymakers took part in a celebration for Laredo as they met with city staff, elected officials and the private sector to learn more about our city and the impact of our community across Texas.
«We had a tremendous turnout at our Laredo Day reception — the culmination of many positive and productive meetings throughout this week,» said Mayor Pete Saenz. «I thank everyone for their hard work and participation in this year’s state legislative trip. City staff will follow up with our state leaders once we return to Laredo to make sure we receive a fair share of resources for Texas.»