AUSTIN, TX – Today, Senate Bill 814, authored by Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, passed unanimously out of the Texas Senate, 31-0 . This critical legislation increases transparency and curbs conflicts of interests within the Agua SUD board in Hidalgo County. The public loses confidence in the integrity of a governmental entity if it perceives that the governing board is influenced by personal interests. Public servants must avoid creating even the appearance of impropriety.

Senator Hinojosa issued the following statement:

“I am pleased with the unanimous vote and strong support in the Senate for SB 814 and the recognition from the legislature that the conflicts of interests and impropriety must end, especially when dealing with taxpayer funds.

SB 814 would stop Agua SUD from employing La Joya School Board members to work for the utility district. Conflicts of interest must not be tolerated and my legislation gives the two La Joya School Board members affected four years to decide if they want to run for re-election or continue their employment at Agua SUD (grandfather provision).

The bill has been amended to focus on the conflict with Agua and the La Joya Independent School District, since the majority of the Agua SUD board members are employees of the La Joya School District. Thus, the La Joya School Board controls Agua SUD.

I am amazed at the amount of time, energy, and taxpayer money that Agua SUD is willing to waste to protect the employment of their bosses. They are politicizing a taxpayer utility district for their own political agenda. Agua SUD is an important utility district in one of the fastest growing areas in Hidalgo County. There must be transparency, accountability and protections of taxpayer money.”

Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa proudly represents the counties of Nueces, Jim Wells, Brooks, and Hidalgo (part). Senator Hinojosa served as the Senate President Pro Tempore of the Texas Senate in the 84th Texas Legislature. Senator Hinojosa currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, and serves on the Senate Committees on Natural Resources & Economic Development; Transportation; Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs as well as the Sunset Advisory Commission.

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