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Home | Tag Archives: representative mary gonzalez

Tag Archives: representative mary gonzalez

Rep. González Receives ‘Advocate of the Year’ award from Lone Star State School Counselor Association

Frisco, Tx – The Lone Star State School Counselor Association (LSSSCA) awarded Representative Mary González the “Advocate of the Year” award on Tuesday for her commitment to improving the public education system in Texas and providing school counselors the support and resources they need to create healthy and safe learning environments for students.

“My commitment to serve counselors stems from the many ways in which the counselors I have experienced in my life have truly changed my life,” said Rep. González. “It was because of my counselors that I was able to believe in a life with a range of opportunities and choices, and it was because of counselors that I decided to serve my community, since they were there to support me when I came back home.”

During this past legislative session, Rep. González filed HB 727, which would have mandated that school counselors spend at least 80% of their total work time on duties addressing components of their counseling program.

Although the bill did not pass into law, Rep. González plans to refile the bill during the next legislative session in an effort to ensure that counselors are able to spend a majority of their work time helping students.

“I am honored and humbled to be receiving the Advocate of the Year Award from the Lone Star State School Counselor Association,” said Rep. González. “I look forward to continuing to work to pass legislation that supports the efforts of one of our most valuable Texas resources: our school counselors.”

The Lone Star State School Counselor Association (LSSSCA) is a 2,000 member organization that advocates for school counselors and school safety.

Rep. González to be Honored with Border Network for Human Rights’ Champion Award

On Saturday, Representative Mary González will be awarded the Border Network for Human Rights Champion Award alongside Representative Cesar Blanco for their advocacy at the Texas Legislature, fighting for legislation that protects and enhances the rights of immigrant communities and migrant families.

“It is an honor to be recognized with talented and relentless leaders like Representative Cesar Blanco, Linda Rivas at the Las Americas Advocacy Center, and Melisa López with the Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services,” said Rep. González.

“These leaders have worked tirelessly to provide migrants with increased opportunities and access to economic and social mobility.”

“At this very moment, there are still children who are separated from their parents. We can never forget that our work in opposition to dehumanizing immigration policies will not conclude until immigrants are treated with dignity and respect in our country,” said Rep. González.

As Vice Chair of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, Rep. González has led several efforts in her district of far east El Paso, as well as throughout the state.

Most recently, in partnership with the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, Rep. González organized the Family Unity Day of Action Vigil & Rally held outside Senator Cornyn’s office in Austin, with events taking place in three other cities.

She demanded the end to inhumane policies like “zero-tolerance,” and the humane treatment of migrants seeking asylum at our Texas borders.

Rep. Moody Named Speaker Pro Tem, Rep. González Receives Committee Assignments

On Wednesday, January 23rd, Representative Mary González and Representative Joe Moody received their assignments for the  86th Legislative Session.

Moody was appointed speaker pro tempore, the number two job in the Texas House of Representatives; González has been appointed Vice Chair of the Local & Consent Calendars Committee and to the House Committee on Public Education.

“School finance is, without a doubt, the biggest challenge facing our state,” Representative González said. “With my appointments to both the Public Education and Appropriations Committees, I look forward to driving the discussion of equitably funding our schools, and making sure that all kids, regardless of income, ability, race, or geographic location, receive a high quality education.”

The House Committee on Appropriations presides over and creates the state’s budget for each biennium, and addresses any issues or legislation relating to the allocation of funds, while the House Committee on Local & Consent Calendars supervises the placement of local legislation onto a local and consent calendar, one of the schedules for representatives to discuss bills.

“I’m humbled by Speaker Bonnen’s confidence in me,” said Moody. “He’s left big shoes to fill, but I’m excited for the opportunity to serve El Paso and Texas itself in this new role. My number one priority will be facilitating a productive session built on respectful, bipartisan relationships and a shared commitment to the people of Texas; I know that, working together, we can do amazing work for the communities we serve.”

The speaker pro tempore assumes the duties of speaker in the speaker’s absence and assists in the administration of the House at the speaker’s direction. Traditionally, that includes the duty of presiding over consideration of “local and consent” bills–those thought to be uncontroversial or that have an impact on specific areas of Texas rather than the whole state.

Moody will also serve on an array of committees this session, including the Committee on Calendars (as vice chair), the Committee on Business and Industry, the Committee on Redistricting, and the Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence.

González retains her position on the powerful House Committee on Appropriations.

Rep. González Nominated for Victory Institute’s Breakthrough Award

On Friday, the Victory Institute announced that Representative Mary González was one of six finalists nominated to receive their inaugural Tammy Baldwin Breakthrough Award.

The Tammy Baldwin Breakthrough Award was created to honor an up-and-coming state or local LGBTQ elected official whose promising political career will move forward equality.

“One of my political role models is Senator Tammy Baldwin, an amazing U.S. Senator who has shown courage, strength, dedication, and grace,” said Rep. González. “I am honored and excited to be a finalist for the Tammy Baldwin award.”

“I stand with the LGBTQ community,” Rep. González said. “I am grateful for this nomination, and will continue to fight for socially just policies that benefit all members of our community.”

Tuesday, October 31st is the last day to vote for the nomination for this award. Votes can be cast on the Victory Institute’s website.

The Victory Institute is the only national organization dedicated to elevating openly LGBTQ leaders who can further equality at all levels of government. Many of their trainees join the more than 1,000 openly LGBTQ elected and appointed officials currently serving worldwide.

Manoj Shukla, professor of Environmental soil physics, shown here with a drip irrigation system for chile, has been part of the microirrigation research team for more than 10 years. (Courtesy Photo) SEP14

State Senator Rodriguez, Rep. Gonzalez Vote For New Texas Budget

Austin – The Texas Legislature today voted on the state budget in both the House and Senate. Sen. Rodríguez joined the House members of the El Paso delegation in voting for the budget.

“This was a tough vote,” Sen. Rodríguez said. “There are missed opportunities in the budget that will hurt the state’s ability to continue competing in the future.”

In a news release, Senator Rodriguez pointed out a particular gap, saying “while the state added enough money to account for overall growth in the number of students, maintaining a per-student funding level of $5,140, it did not account for inflation, which means the dollar per student doesn’t go as far. It also undercounted our Medicaid obligations over the next two years; this means that it projects a lower number than we’ll actually have, something that has become routine and that ensures each session begins with an “iou” of between $1 billion and $2 billion.”

“Instead of prioritizing these needs, the state instead put nearly $1 billion into ‘border security,’ a phrase that inaccurately frames our communities as threats, instead of as the opportunities that we are. El Paso and other border communities are important to the state and nation for trade, cultural exchange, and great places to live and work,” Sen. Rodríguez added.

On her vote, Representative Mary E. González said, “I’m proud to have helped secure funding for Texas Tech Health Science Center- El Paso’s future dental school, to continue funding crucial special items for UTEP like their pharmacy school, to maintain funding the state’s Rio Grande Compact lawsuit so that our farmers receive their fair share of water, and to support an additional $32 million for an intelligent transportation system at two El Paso ports of entry in order to increase security measures and expedite trade.”

“Even in a tough budget session, we were able to protect key El Paso interests,” added González.

The Health and Human Services budget includes $500 million in increased funding to Child Protective Services, which will pay for nearly 600 new caseworkers. It provides additional funding for mental health services, including a total of $160.5 million to address community mental health services added capacity, waitlists, collaborative grants for jail diversion, and psychiatric hospital beds.

Other budget highlights include an additional $350 million for the Teacher Retirement System, $71 million to the TEXAS Grant Program, and $44 million for Graduate Medical Education (GME).

“It is said that a budget is an expression of priorities. If so, much in this budget, like border security funding, represents misplaced priorities,” Rodríguez said. “But it also attempts a careful balance of interests, based on hard numbers and factual data. We’ve made the mistake of constraining ourselves to the point where we struggle to meet our needs, even though we have the means to do so. Without doing something extraordinary, this budget reflects the best effort this body is able to make.

“It is in that spirit that I vote for this budget, ” Senator Rodriguez said.

Some El Paso area highlights:

  • Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center-El Paso received $142 million for the biennium, including a rider to establish the dental school.
  • UTEP received $229.2 million for the biennium, including continued support for the pharmacy school.
  • EPCC received $63.6 million for the biennium.
  • Intelligent Transportation System: Authorization for $32 million for a system to streamline commercial traffic at the Zaragoza Bridge and Bridge of the Americas.
  • McDonald Observatory: $5.2 million for the biennium.
  • Rio Grande Compact / Texas-New Mexico Water Lawsuit: $500,000, and allowance for increments of $1 million.
  • 8th Court of Appeals District, El Paso: $3.374 million for the biennium.

 

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