BROWNSVILLE, Texas – State Sen. Eddie Lucio is inviting the general public to give testimony on issues such as low-income housing and infrastructure resiliency.

The Brownsville Democrat chairs the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations. The committee will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 28, at the UT-Rio Grande Valley Main Building Salon Cassia (Room 2.402) in Brownsville, starting at 1:30 p.m.

“I am excited to bring down our IGR Committee to the Valley so that we can address issues important to the quality of life of our constituents, critical to the development of our communities, and vital to our state’s economy, including affordable housing matters and infrastructure resiliency,” Lucio told the Rio Grande Guardian and Ron Whitlock Reports.

The interim charges the IGR committee will look before the next legislative session were announced recently by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

Lucio said the IGR committee has been asked to review the state’s regulations governing the federal low-income credit program, the Qualified Action Plan, Infrastructure Resiliency, and implementation of certain reforms passed during the 2019 Legislative Session, including overseeing implementation of the Private Activity Bond Modernization Reforms. These reforms were authored by Lucio.

“I look forward to tackling Texas’ multi-million dollar Housing Tax Credit Program and to also develop stronger infrastructure resiliency,” Lucio said. “By working with key state agencies, locally elected officials, and representatives from the development and construction industries, our IGR Committee will develop the right reforms to create greater affordable housing opportunities and stronger infrastructure for our communities for the upcoming 2021 Legislative Session.”

Lucio said Tuesday’s hearing will specifically hear invited and public testimony on the following interim charges:

  1. Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program: Review existing regulations governing the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program and the Qualified Allocation Plan to determine whether regulations exist that unnecessarily increase the cost of developing and maintaining affordable housing. Make recommendations to provide regulatory relief and provide greater development of affordable housing in Texas.
  2. Federal Housing Review: Study all federal housing programs accessible to Texas. Make recommendations that ensure the state maximizes the use of those programs.
  3. Infrastructure Resiliency: Examine the authority special purpose districts have to generate natural disaster resilient infrastructure. Determine ways state government can work with special purpose districts to mitigate future flooding and promote more resilient infrastructure. Make recommendations on how special purpose districts may use their statutory authority to assist in mitigating damage from future natural disasters.
  4. Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations passed by the 86th Legislature, as well as relevant agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction. Specifically, make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, or complete implementation of the following:
    • Senate Bill 1303, relating to landowner rights in a city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction;
    • Senate Bill 1474, relating to private activity bonds; and
    • House Bill 2330, relating to simplifying disaster assistance.

The address of UTRGV Main Building Salon Cassia is: 1 West University Boulevard, Brownsville.

Those wishing to give public testimony are asked to limit their remarks to three minutes. Those wishing to submit written testimony, are asked to bring along 20 copies, with their name on each copy.