Lucio Jr. heading into 26th year in Texas Senate

AUSTIN — Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. is always on the go.

When he is not at the Capitol in committee meetings or pushing legislation, he’s with his constituents throughout his district.

With the start of the 2017 Texas Legislative Session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has announced Senate committee assignments and Lucio was tapped to work on four.

Lucio, 71, once again will chair Intergovernmental Relations, and provide his leadership and insight on education, state affairs and Veteran Affairs & Border Security committees.

“The committee assignments I am announcing continue the efficient committee structure we established in the 2015 Legislative Session,” Patrick said in a press release. “These appointments reflect the proven leadership, commitment, expertise and solid work ethic of the 31 senators who have been elected by the people of Texas to represent them.”

In the Capitol rotunda during session, constituents can catch Lucio wearing his signature bow tie and cowboy boots strutting from meeting to meeting.

He’ll give his constituents his ear and talk about the issues while waiting for the elevator or walking to his next meeting before he kindly says goodbye and God bless, assuring he will do what he can.

And this legislative session will be no different for one of the longest serving Texas senators.

“The appointments I am making call on all senators, including freshmen, in both political parties to play a significant role,” Patrick said. “Moving forward from today, we know that the hours are long and the work is difficult, but I am confident we have the committee leadership in place to get the job done for the people in Texas.”

Lucio, from Brownsville, has been praised for his various pieces of legislation that have significantly impacted the business and educational landscape of the region.

During his career, Lucio’s priorities have focused on public and higher education, economic development, access to quality health care, and the needs of children, the elderly and those with special needs.

Lucio has passed hundreds of bills, including those creating the University of Texas Health Science Center-South Texas, a life without parole option in capital murder cases, water and waste-water funding for colonias, and self-help programs enabling aspiring homeowners to invest sweat equity in the construction of their own homes.

Recently Lucio was announced as the 2017 Border Texan of the Year.

Lucio said he never believed he would join past winners such as George W. Bush, Rick Perry, Judge Ricardo Hinojosa and many others.

Lucio said on his Facebook page, “I’m humbled and honored, but this is a celebration not really for me, it is a celebration of humanity and making a difference by working with one another and creating a better body of life for those that we live with and our surrounding communities right here in the Valley.”