Valley lawmakers filed legislation this morning to create a new medical school in South Texas.
St. Rep. Rene Oliveira says House Bill 1000 was filed in the Texas House this morning. A similar bill, Senate Bill 24, will be filed in the state senate this afternoon.
"This is something we have really dreamed about. We have fought for a long time for our fair share of our resources," said Oliveira during a news conference this morning.
The Brownsville democrat says House Bill 1000 is the most important piece of legislation he has worked on in his 29 years in the legislature. He says the legislation will be felt for decades to come.
The bill calls for merging The University of Texas at Brownsville and The University of Texas Pan American.
"This bill will create a new university, a Texas system university, with a medical school in South Texas," said state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville. "This new university will include a state of art facility and have ability to attract top notch faculty."
"This bill does not dictate where any particular building will be built," said state Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen. "It will be a regional facility with Laredo, Corpus Christi and all of South Texas benefiting.
But he did says there is a group of Hidalgo County businessmen working to match the $100 million the UT system will contribute to the new facility.
"What is important is that the Valley delegation is united to make this happen," said Hinojosa.
"This is going to be good for the Valley, good for the state of Texas," said state Sen. Kel Seliger of Amarillo.
For more on this story read Tuesday's Brownsville Herald.