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Sen. Lucio Heading Back to S. Texas; Laments Difficulty on HB 2, HB 3

By J. Lyn Carl,

Austin, TX –

On the Senate floor today, Sen. Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) asked questions regarding the schedule for the Senate for the next two days.

The First Called Session of the 79th Legislature will end no later than midnight Wednesday. And by Monday afternoon, there still had been no action by conference committees on HB 2, the public school reform bill, and HB 3, the accompanying tax reduction bill.

Lucio told members that Hurricane Emily is bearing down on South Texas and the Texas Gulf Coast, where many of his constituents may be impacted.

"I cannot in good conscience remain in Austin while the people of my district prepare for the impending disaster that Hurricane Emily threatens to inflict upon District 27," Lucio wrote in a letter to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. He said it would be "unconscionable" for him not to be there among his family, friends and neighbors. "My priority right now is the safety of our constituents, compelling me to return to South Texas."

Lucio said he is "extremely displeased" that no agreement has been reached on HB 2 and or HB 3. "The inability of the Legislature to reach a solution should not be a reflection of the Senate conferees, who are making every effort to reach a fair compromise." He also noted the inaction on those two bills also is causing a logjam for other legislation that has passed out of committee but not made it to the floor yet for debate.