Hinojosa: I am proud to announce my candidacy for re-election to the Texas Senate

MCALLEN, Texas – Long-serving state Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa has announced his candidacy for re-election to the Texas Senate. 

The McAllen Democrat has served 20 years in the Texas Senate. Before that the attorney and Viet Nam War veteran served in the Texas House.

With his leadership, experience, and track record, Senator Hinojosa believes he is the clear choice to represent Senate District 20 in the Texas Senate.

“I am honored to serve the people of Senate District 20 and I am proud to announce my candidacy for re-election to the Texas Senate,” Hinojosa said. “I am committed to continuing the work and fighting for the issues that matter most to our communities, including advocating for fully funding public education, increasing access to affordable healthcare, investing in transportation and drainage infrastructure, creating high-paying jobs, and improving the quality of life for our South Texas families.”

Here is Hinojosa’s official biography:

“State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa proudly represents the people of District 20. Born in McAllen, Texas, Hinojosa is the eldest of eight children. He attended Mission Independent School District schools as a child, and worked as a farm worker during his teen years. Hinojosa led the Mission Eagles football team as their quarterback, and after graduation he volunteered to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps. 

“Hinojosa served his country with distinction in Vietnam before returning home to continue his education. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Texas-Pan American, where he graduated with honors, and a law degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. 

“After returning to South Texas, Hinojosa served as staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Nueces County and later as an Assistant Attorney General for the Texas Attorney General. Since 1980, Hinojosa has operated a private practice in Hidalgo County representing clients in both civil and criminal matters. 

“Hinojosa served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1981 until 1991 and again from 1997 to 2003. During his tenure in the Texas House, Hinojosa passed landmark legislation, such as the establishment of the Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC) which promotes physician training on the Texas/Mexico Border. As the Chairman of Criminal Jurisprudence, Senator Hinojosa sponsored the Texas Fair Defense Act, reforming procedures for providing court-appointed defense counsel to indigent defendants, and carried DNA legislation that has resulted in freeing many wrongly convicted citizens. 

“Since his election to the Texas Senate in 2003, Senator Hinojosa has secured nearly $1 billion for the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge Replacement project and $300 million for the Pharr Interchange Project to address traffic congestion. This funding is in addition to the active $200 million in construction and maintenance projects currently being administered by the Texas Department of Transportation’s Pharr District, including the funding secured to demolish and re-construct the Bicentennial Boulevard overpass in McAllen. 

“During the 2013 Legislative Session, Hinojosa authored SB 24, historic legislation that created the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) and UTRGV School of Medicine by merging UT-Pan American and UT-Brownsville. The School of Medicine is already providing greater access to healthcare and is boosting the South Texas economy. The educational and healthcare opportunities are endless and will serve the unique and critical needs of South Texas for decades to come. 

“Senator Hinojosa has also passed legislation to allow South Texas communities and hospitals to draw down millions of federal matching funds to expand and invest in their healthcare infrastructure and to reimburse hospitals for indigent care through a federal 1115 Healthcare Transformation Waiver. 

“Senator Hinojosa has received the prestigious honor of being named a “Top Ten Best Legislator” by Texas Monthly magazine three times. He has also been named a “Top Ten Legislator” by Capitol Inside three times as well.”

Recent legislative session

During the recent legislative session, Hinojosa said he played a crucial role in passing significant legislation that will benefit the people of Texas. He co-authored and voted for the largest property tax relief package in Texas history, providing relief to homeowners and supporting small businesses. He also championed investments in higher education, infrastructure, job creation, and healthcare, ensuring that the needs of his constituents were addressed.

Senator Hinojosa said his dedication to education was evident in his support for fully funding the Foundation School Program and providing resources for projected enrollment growth. He said he fought for a cost-of-living adjustment for Teacher Retirement System annuitants and advocated for increased funding for mental health services, women’s health programs, and to raise the base wages for Medicaid community attendants.

While the work of the 88th Legislature is not complete, Hinojosa said he remains committed to addressing pending issues and working across the aisle to put people over politics. He said he believes in governing with compassion and making a positive difference in the lives of the people he represents.

Tax relief package 

Hinojosa also issued a press release about final House and Senate passage of tax relief package that will benefit homeowners and businesses across the state. Hinojosa co-authored Senate Bill 2 (SB 2), Senate Bill 3 (SB 3), and House Joint Resolution 2 (HJR 2). All three bills were authored by state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston. The provisions in the bills require voter approval in November.

Hinojosa said one of the key provisions of SB 2 is an increase in the residential homestead exemption. Under this bill, homeowners under the age of 65 will be allowed a homestead exemption of $100,000, while homeowners over the age of 65 or disabled will receive an exemption of $110,000. Hinojosa said this increase follows previous incremental increases in 2015 and 2021, when the exemption was raised to $25,000 and $40,000, respectively. Thanks to a record budget surplus, Hinojosa said, Texas now has the opportunity to provide homeowners with even greater relief by raising the exemption to $100,000.

Hinojosa pointed out that for properties that are not homesteads, SB 2 creates a pilot program for a circuit breaker on appraised value. The circuit breaker imposes a temporary 20 percent limitation on appraised value increases for non-homestead real property valued at less than $5 million. This limitation will be indexed to inflation and will expire on December 31, 2026.

Hinojosa said the bill also establishes three new elected positions for the appraisal district board of directors in counties with a population of 75,000 or more. The membership of the appraisal review board will be determined by the appraisal district board of directors in these counties.

Meanwhile, SB 3 focuses on providing tax relief to small and medium-sized businesses, Hinojosa said. It doubles the amount of a taxable entity’s total revenue that is exempted from the franchise tax, increasing it from $1.235 million to $2.47 million. This change will exempt approximately 67,000 businesses from paying the franchise tax, allowing them to reinvest their resources into growth and job creation. SB 3 also eliminates the requirement to file a No-Tax-Due franchise tax return if that entity does not owe any franchise taxes for that year. This streamlines the tax filing process for businesses, saving them valuable time and money.

“The number one complaint I keep hearing from my constituents is the high cost of property taxes. Property tax relief is important to my constituents and all Texans. High property taxes place a significant burden on homeowners and businesses, making it increasingly difficult for families to afford their homes and stifling economic growth,” Hinojosa said.

“These tax relief bills passed by the Texas Legislature represent a significant step towards easing the financial burden on homeowners and businesses, promoting affordability, fostering economic growth, and helping create a more prosperous future for all Texans. I was honored to co-author these important bills and appreciate the work of Senator Bettencourt and the leadership of Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and his continued push for the $100,000 Homestead Exemption.”

Hinojosa added: “It is crucial for Texans to understand that their support and approval in the upcoming November election will be vital in implementing these measures. With the support of the public, these measures have the potential to bring about positive change and improve the lives of countless individuals and business owners. Together, we can ensure Texans get the tax relief we all need.”

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