RGV officials to talk legislation

WESLACO — Cities of the Valley are uniting to send the state Capitol a message.

From the Island to Roma, city officials across the Valley will meet tomorrow to talk about legislation being proposed in Austin and the impact it could have on their cities.

Tomorrow’s meeting is a follow up to last week’s initial meeting in Weslaco.

Brownsville, McAllen, Weslaco and Edcouch were all among those in attendance.

Laguna Vista’s City Manager, Rolando Vela, is the driving force behind the meetings.

Vela invited elected and appointed city officials to meet in Weslaco to discuss the special session and prepare for the regular legislative session that is less than two years away.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced a special session outside of the regular session earlier this summer.

Legislators are currently two weeks into the special session.

Vela’s main concern is legislation involving revenue caps, spending caps and land annexation.

Vela said it’s difficult to target certain bills at the moment since they are quickly changing and the legislative process is in flux.

“What was filed a week and a half ago can completely change,” Vela said.

The meeting’s main goal is to educate leaders of the Valley on legislation.

“What if we all come together and discuss this,” Vela said.

“We’re in a better position and we’re better informed.”

Thursday’s meeting will have guest speaker Shanna Igo from the Texas Municipal League, who is a deputy executive director for legislative services.

She will update the city officials on the special session and what the cities can do for the upcoming regular legislative session.

“She was receptive to come over to update us as to what we can expect as cities at the regular (legislative) session,” Vela said.

According to Vela, there was a consensus to continue these meetings.

He is working on a letter that requests a meeting between the governor and the city officials, but his main concern is helping the Valley understand the legislation currently being drafted.

“Our focus is education,” Vela said.


What is a regular session?

A period of time in which the Legislature is convened for the purpose of lawmaking starting the second Tuesday in January of odd-numbered years and lasting no more than 140 days

What is a special session?

A legislative session called by the governor that addresses an agenda set by the governor that lasts no longer than 30 days