Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa Joins TWC Chairman Bryan Daniels to Present $4.7 Million In JET Grants to Schools In Hidalgo County

Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, vice chair of the Senate Finance Committee, joined Texas Workforce (TWC) Chairman and Commissioner Representing the Public, Bryan Daniel, today to present nine Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) grants totaling $4,718,866. The grants have been awarded to South Texas College, La Joya Independent School District (LJISD), Vanguard Academy (VA), and Weslaco Independent School District (WISD).


The JET program, championed by Senator Hinojosa, provides grants to eligible entities to purchase and install equipment necessary for the development of career and technical education (CTE) courses or programs that lead to a license, certificate, or post-secondary degree in a high-demand occupation. This past session, the Texas Legislature appropriated $30.7 million to the TWC for the JET Program.


The recipients of the grants are as follows:


South Texas College (STC) will be awarded $659,682 to expand the capacity of the Vocational Nursing Program and the Emergency Medical Services Program. This will be achieved by acquiring specialized equipment such as Manikins, MedStations, Medical Oxygen Generating Systems, and motorized lifting equipment. Approximately 395 students will benefit from this investment.


La Joya Independent School District (LJISD) will receive $1,384,190 to train approximately 100 students in the Manufacturing field. The training will also include the opportunity to gain dual credit hours and an Industry-Based Certification such as NIMS Machining Level I. Additionally, the grant will be used to train around 130 students in the nursing field, enabling them to attain Industry-Based Certifications.


Vanguard Academy (VA) will be awarded $1,494,805 to purchase, install, and train for current and innovative, industry-based equipment. This investment will provide VA students with training for careers in the computer networking and LVN/health science professions. These areas are regionally recognized as in-demand for the local economy and will provide students with hands-on training and industry-based certifications for future employment.


Weslaco Independent School District (WISD) will receive $1,180,189 to purchase industry-standard automotive equipment for their Career and Technology Education Center (CTEC). The equipment will provide students with hands-on learning experiences in the Automotive and Welding programs, preparing them for jobs that are high in demand and growth for the South Texas Region, including Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics and Welding.


Senator Hinojosa expressed his congratulations to the recipients of these grants, emphasizing the importance of investing in career and technical education to meet the demands of the local workforce. He stated, “These grants will provide students with the necessary tools and training to succeed in high-demand occupations, ultimately strengthening our economy and improving the lives of individuals and families in South Texas. I appreciate TWC Chairman Bryan Daniels coming to the RGV to present these awards and thank him for his support of the JET Program.”


The JET grants presented today are a testament to the commitment of Senator Hinojosa and the Texas Legislature to support education and workforce development in the state. By equipping students with the skills and certifications needed for in-demand careers, these grants will contribute to the growth and prosperity of South Texas.

Senator Hinojosa Reminds Texans: Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday August 11th-13th

Texas’s highly successful annual Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday is scheduled this year from Friday, August 11th through midnight Sunday, August 13th, offering Texans an opportunity to save an estimated $136 million in state and local sales tax on clothing and various back-to-school items. With the new school year almost upon us, the timing is perfect for students of all ages to stock up on clothes and supplies.

“The annual Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday provides families with an opportunity to find bargains and low prices on essential back-to-school items. Not only does it benefit families, but it also serves as an economic driver for our local businesses. With the increased costs of goods, I encourage families to take full advantage of the sales tax holiday and save money by shopping during the upcoming tax-free weekend. Whether you prefer shopping in stores or online from a Texas-based seller, make sure to mark your calendars and make the most of this opportunity,” said Senator Hinojosa.

Texans who shop during this weekend will not have to pay sales taxes on most clothing, footwear, school supplies, and backpacks (sold for less than $100). Items sold online and layaway plans also qualify. For more information and a complete list of tax-free items, please visit the Texas Comptroller’s webpage:

Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa Celebrates Opening of the U.S. 83 Relief Route

Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa was honored to attend the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the U.S. 83 Relief Route earlier today. This significant infrastructure project, stretching more than 9 miles, aims to enhance mobility in the La Joya/Peñitas/Sullivan City area, providing a freeway facility that includes frontage roads and main lanes.

The U.S. 83 Relief Route, with a combined cost of $197 million is a crucial development that will address the growing transportation needs of the region. By increasing safety, alleviating congestion, and enhancing mobility, this relief route will significantly improve the overall transportation experience for residents and visitors alike.

Senator Hinojosa expressed his enthusiasm for the project, stating, “This relief route is very much needed for the continued development and growth of our communities. It will not only enhance safety and alleviate congestion but also provide a more efficient route for commercial vehicles and travelers, reducing traffic on the current U.S. 83 and benefiting our local residents.”

The relief route will not alter the number of traffic lights on the existing U.S. 83. However, it will redirect most commercial vehicles and travelers to the newly constructed route, ensuring smoother traffic flow and reducing congestion for local commuters.

Senator Hinojosa extended his gratitude to TxDOT District Engineer Pete Alvarez for his work, commitment and dedication to this important project. He also expressed his appreciation for the leadership and advocacy of Hidalgo County Commissioner Everardo “Ever” Villarreal, Rio Grande Valley MPO Executive Director Andrew Cannon, Penitas Mayor Ramiro Loya, La Joya Mayor Isidro Casanova, and Sullivan City Mayor Alma Salinas and their respective council and commission members who played a role throughout the process of this project. This relief route marks a significant milestone in the region’s transportation infrastructure.

Senator Hinojosa concluded by stating the following, “I remain committed to continue working with our local public officials and community leaders to advocate for further improvements and developments that will enhance the quality of life for all residents in the western part of Hidalgo County.”

Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa Urges Public Utility Commission to Implement Moratorium on Electricity Disconnections

State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa has joined the efforts of the Texas Consumer Association and AARP Texas to call for a moratorium on electricity disconnections during extreme weather conditions. In a letter addressed to the Public Utility Commission, Senator Hinojosa expressed his support for the immediate suspension of the current provisions of Substantive Rule §25.29(i) to ensure the safety and well-being of all Texans.

With the recent surge in extreme heat across the state, it has become evident that the existing disconnection rule falls short in protecting the most vulnerable members of society. Senator Hinojosa urges the Commission to impose a total moratorium on all electric service disconnections of residential premises for bill arrearages or lack of payment until, on, or after September 15, 2023, as a matter of public safety.

Additionally, Senator Hinojosa requests that the Commission takes prompt action by directing the state’s transmission and distribution utilities and retail electric providers to report on the number of electric accounts currently disconnected due to lack of payment. These reports should be provided on a weekly basis, at least until November 2023, to ensure transparency and facilitate the development of long-term solutions.

In support of this cause, Senator Hinojosa plans to introduce legislation during the next regular session to make the reporting requirement a state law. This will ensure that critical information regarding electricity disconnections is consistently available to the public and policymakers, enabling a more informed and proactive approach to addressing the challenges faced by communities.

Senator Hinojosa extends his gratitude to the Texas Consumer Association and AARP Texas for their unwavering dedication and leadership in advocating for the rights and well-being of Texans. Their efforts have played a pivotal role in bringing attention to this pressing issue, and Senator Hinojosa is honored to stand alongside them in making this request.

The Senator concludes his letter by expressing his trust in the Public Utility Commission’s commitment to considering this request and taking the necessary steps to protect the well-being of fellow Texans.

Save the Date: Operation Border Health Preparedness Clinics in South Texas – July 24 to 28

Today, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced the locations and services that will be available at the no-cost health clinics for residents of South Texas during next week’s Operation Border Health Preparedness (OBHP). This is an exercise conducted annually by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and its partners to prepare for public health emergencies and disasters. Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa encourages families to take advantage of these free services, emphasizing the importance of taking care of our health, especially with back to school just around the corner.

Now in its 24th year, OBHP will operate five sites from July 24 to 28. The complete list of locations and hours can be found below.

During this joint disaster preparedness exercise, DSHS and its local government and non-profit partners will practice standing up and operating health clinics that may be needed during a disaster or public health emergency. In 2022, the exercise provided 30,031 health services to just under 6,400 patients.

This year, OBHP services will include immunizations for children and adults, medical exams, sports physicals for students, health and diabetes screenings, dental and vision exams, and prescription glasses from a mobile lab. The Raymondville site in Willacy County will also have limited veterinary services. Services may vary from location to location, so the public is encouraged to visit or call 2-1-1 to confirm which services are offered at a specific location.

DSHS partners at OBHP this year include the Texas Military Department, Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps, City of Laredo Health Department, Cameron County Public Health, Hidalgo County Health & Human Services, UTRGV Medical School, Texas A&M University, local nursing schools, and other nonprofit groups.

Senator Hinojosa recognizes the significance of accessible healthcare services, stating, “It is crucial that we prioritize our health and well-being, especially as we approach the upcoming school year. Operation Border Health Preparedness provides an excellent opportunity for families to take advantage of free health clinics in South Texas. I encourage everyone to participate and ensure they are in good health before the school year begins.”

The clinics will serve as a valuable resource for families in South Texas, offering essential healthcare services and promoting overall well-being. Senator Hinojosa urges residents to mark their calendars and make the most of this opportunity to prioritize their health.

For more information about Operation Border Health Preparedness and the services offered, please visit or call 2-1-1.


Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.


Brownsville: BISD Central Administration Bldg., 708 Palm Blvd.

Laredo: Louis J. Christen Middle School, 2001 Santa Maria Ave.

Raymondville: Raymondville High School, 601 FM 3168

Rio Grande City: Veterans Middle School, 2700 W. Eisenhower Rd.

San Juan: PSJA Early College High School, 805 W. Ridge Rd.

Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa’s Statement Regarding Announcement to Run for Re-Election

Today, Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa announced that he is running for re-election to the Texas Senate. Senator Hinojosa is a proven leader with extensive experience and a track record of delivering results for South Texas. With a distinguished background, Senator Hinojosa brings a unique set of qualifications to his role as a public servant. As a United States Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran, he understands the importance of service and sacrifice. Additionally, his experience as a Texas Assistant Attorney General and years of service in the legislature have equipped him with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively advocate for his constituents. Senator Hinojosa’s approach to public policy and his decisions on legislation are based on what is best for our South Texas families. With his leadership, experience, proven track record, and as vice chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Hinojosa is the clear choice to continue representing Senate District 20 in the Texas Senate.

Senator Hinojosa issued the following statement:

“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. Over the years, I have worked tirelessly to improve the lives of the people in my district and across the state. I am committed to continuing that work and fighting for the issues that matter most to our communities including advocating for fully funding public education, increasing access to affordable health care, investing in our transportation and drainage infrastructure, creating high paying jobs and improving the quality of life for our South Texas families.

I was honored to co-author legislation and vote for the largest property tax relief package in Texas history. This $18 billion package will increase the homestead exemption from $40,000 to $100,000, and $110,000 for those over 65 or disabled. This package also includes a temporary 20% cap on appraisal increases for non-homestead properties valued at $5 million or less. We also cut franchise taxes for small businesses by doubling the amount of a taxable entity’s total revenue that is exempted by 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. We also eliminated the requirement to file a No-Tax-Due franchise tax return if that entity does not owe any franchise taxes for that year. 

During this past legislative session, we made significant investments in higher education including $650 million to reform community college funding formulas to prioritize student outcomes; over $350 million to increase formulas for our public universities; and $185 million to support Military and Veterans Exemptions. This will increase funding for Texas A&M Corpus Christi, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Del Mar College, Coastal Bend College, and South Texas College.  

Infrastructure continues to be another priority of mine. We invested $5 billion to support the construction and operation of electric generating facilities. The state budget included over $37 billion to address the state’s transportation needs which include: $400 million to capitalize the Ship Channel Improvement Revolving Fund, $200 million for maritime port capital improvement projects, and additional funding for border infrastructure; $1.5 billion for broadband, which is in addition to the $500 million investment made last session. We appropriated $1 billion to capitalize the Texas Water Fund for financing water projects in the state and $625 million to be transferred to the Flood Infrastructure Fund to increase funding for flood control, drainage, and mitigation projects.

Job creation, job training, and economic development have also been a priority. This session I supported the $1 billion investment for new park development in honor of the 100th anniversary of our state park system. I was also pleased we appropriated over $1 billion to an endowment to support capital needs for career and technical education programs at Texas State Technical Colleges; a total of $1.5 billion for financial aid programs; and over $30 million for the Jobs Education for Texas program which provides grants to community colleges and high schools for job training. 

Taking care of the health care needs of Texans, especially mental health, is critical. This session we further strengthened our commitment to mental health services by providing $11.6 billion for behavioral health. This includes $1.6 billion for new construction of mental health state hospitals, $302 million for mental health community hospitals, and $83 million for community mental health grant programs. The state budget also includes an increase of over $1.2 billion for mental health care to address workforce challenges at state facilities, fully fund the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium, and address the statewide mental health professional workforce shortage. We provided $2 billion to raise the base wages for Medicaid community attendants and $447 million in funding for women’s health programs.

Education is the greatest equalizer and public education is the key for the future of our children and our country. The budget this session totals $61.7 billion which is an increase of $14.1 billion. The budget fully funds the Foundation School Program and provides $3.2 billion to fund projected enrollment growth. For our Teacher Retirement System (TRS) annuitants, including our retired teachers, we appropriated $5 billion for a much-needed cost-of-living-adjustment, and a substantial stipend for certain retirees. Our work in this area is not complete. While the General Appropriations Act includes $5.3 billion for formula funding increases, teacher pay increases, curriculum reform, and others, it will now be taken up in a special session. We also have a big issue left to address that deals with the difference in local appraised property values versus state values which impact funding for school districts.

Our work is not complete. We had a busy and productive regular session, but elections have consequences and several pending issues will be brought up in a future special session. In this political environment, we need legislators who can work across the aisle to address issues and put people over politics and govern with compassion. I am committed to working every day to make a difference in the lives of the people I represent.”

 Senator Hinojosa has received the prestigious honor of being named “Top Ten Best Legislators” for Texas Monthly magazine three times and named “Top Ten Legislator” by Capitol Inside three times.

Texas Legislature Passes Historic Tax Relief Package for Texans-$18 Billion in Property Tax Relief

Today, the Texas Senate and Texas House gave final passage to a historic tax relief package that will benefit homeowners and businesses across the state. Senate Bill 2 (SB 2), Senate Bill 3 (SB 3), and House Joint Resolution 2 (HJR 2) were authored by Senator Paul Bettencourt. Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, co-authored all three bills. These bills are now headed to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk for his signature. The provisions in these bills will also require voter approval in November.


One of the key provisions of SB 2 is the 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. This significant increase follows previous increments in 2015 and 2021, when the exemption was raised to $25,000 and $40,000, respectively. Thanks to a record budget surplus, Texas now has the opportunity to provide homeowners with even greater relief by raising the exemption to $100,000.


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% 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.


This 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.


SB 3 focuses on providing tax relief to small and medium-sized businesses. 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.


Senator Hinojosa emphasized the importance of property tax relief and highlighted that these provisions will require voter approval in November. He provided the following statement:


“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.


“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.


“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.”

Senator Hinojosa Announces the Texas Utility Help Program Accepting Applications for Assistance With Energy and Water Bills

Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa is pleased to announce that the Texas Utility Help program is accepting applications for energy assistance. In addition, the program is now offering assistance for past-due and future water and wastewater bills through September 30, 2023.


Administered by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA), Texas Utility Help is funded by the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and federal Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP). The program aims to provide financial support to eligible households by making direct payments to utility companies on their behalf. Texas Utility Help is available to qualified homeowners and renters with low income.


Under the Energy Program and the Water Program, eligible households may receive assistance for electricity, gas, propane, water and wastewater bills. This assistance can cover both past-due amounts owed and up to $2,400 for prospective payments through September 30, 2023, depending on household income.


Senator Hinojosa emphasizes the importance of this program in helping residents in need. He states, “Texas Utility Help program is a lifeline for many families struggling to make ends meet. By providing financial assistance for energy and water bills, we can alleviate the burden on low-income households and ensure they have access to essential utilities. This program is a testament to our commitment to supporting our communities, our families, and improving the quality of life for all Texans.”


Senator Hinojosa’s office is ready to assist anyone who needs help filling out the application. Residents can call his office or visit the district offices for guidance and support.


For more information and to apply for Texas Utility Help, please visit, call 1-855-566-2057, or contact Senator Hinojosa’s office at:


Edinburg District Office

1508 S. Lone Star Way, Suite 6

Edinburg, TX 78539



Corpus Christi District Office

602 N. Staples Street, Suite 200

Corpus Christi, TX 78401



Capitol Office

1400 Congress, Office 3E.6

Austin, TX 78701


Senator Hinojosa Attends Official Opening of St. John of the Cross Works of Mercy Food Pantry in Orange Grove

Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa joined Jim Wells County Judge Pete Treviño at the St. John of the Cross Catholic Church in Orange Grove today to celebrate the official opening of the St. John of the Cross Works of Mercy Food Pantry. This vital project, spearheaded by the church, aims to provide food and other essential items to individuals and families in need in the surrounding areas.


Located conveniently across the street from the church, the St. John of the Cross Works of Mercy Food Pantry will serve as a lifeline for those facing food insecurity. Any person or family in need will have access to the pantry, ensuring that no one in the community goes hungry.


The success of this project would not have been possible without the unwavering support of Father Patrick Donohoe, who has been instrumental in bringing this initiative to fruition. Additionally, community coordinator Bertha Forbes, has shown exceptional leadership in coordinating efforts to establish the food pantry.


Senator Hinojosa has been a strong advocate for addressing food insecurity in the community. Last year, he provided a $5,000 donation to St. John of the Cross, which was to be used to purchase a refrigerator/freezer or for other needs. Bertha Forbes expressed her gratitude to Senator Hinojosa, stating, “We are immensely grateful to Senator Hinojosa for his generous donation. His support has allowed us to purchase essential appliances and shelves, enabling us to open the food pantry sooner than anticipated. We are truly thankful for his commitment to helping our community.”


Senator Hinojosa emphasized the importance of coming together during these challenging times, stating, “As many of our neighbors, family members, and friends are facing unprecedented challenges and financial situations, hunger should not be one of their worries. By working together, we can ensure that there is enough food for our families in need.” He added, “The St. John of the Cross Works of Mercy Food Pantry will undoubtedly make a significant impact on the lives of those struggling with food insecurity in Orange Grove and the surrounding areas. This initiative serves as a testament to the power of community collaboration and compassion.”

Statement from Senator Hinojosa on Passage of SJR 1 and SB 1-$18 Billion in Property Tax Relief for Texans and $2.2 Billion for a Supplemental Payment to Teachers

Today, the Texas Senate reconvened for the first day of the 2nd Called Special Session. The Senate fast-tracked the passage of Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 1 and Senate Bill (SB) 1 both by Senator Paul Bettencourt. Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee co-authored both bills. These bills provide a record $18 billion property tax plan to cut homeowners and business owners taxes. SJR 1 would put to the voters the option to increase the Homestead Exemption to $100,000 from the current $40,000. SJR 1, along with SB 1, would provide Texas homestead owners an average savings of $1,270-$1,350 the first year and up to $1,500 the second year for over-65 disabled homeowners. SJR 1 was amended on the Senate floor to authorize voters to approve $2.2 billion in state funds to be used to provide a supplemental payment of $2,000 to each full-time urban classroom teacher and $6,000 to each full-time rural classroom teacher for the next two years. 


SB 1 also lowers the school district rollback rate 30% from 2.5% to 1.75%, lowering the property tax bill for property owners by billions of dollars a year while holding school districts harmless. SB 1 also helps Texas businesses by doubling the franchise tax exemption, exempting 67,000 Texas businesses. Finally, SB 1 removes the requirement to file a No-Tax Due franchise tax return, saving time and money for the 1.7 million businesses currently filing this form.


Senator Hinojosa released the following statement on the passage of these bills:


“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. By providing property tax relief, we can alleviate this financial strain, promote affordability, and create a more prosperous future for all Texans. 


By amending SJR 1 on the Senate floor today, we also give voters a chance to authorize $2.2 billion in state funds for a much needed and well-deserved supplemental payment to teachers. As an advocate for quality education and recognizing the invaluable role that teachers play in shaping our future generations, I firmly believe that this amendment is a crucial step towards recognizing and valuing the hard work and dedication of our educators. 


I am hopeful that this Special Session we can provide much-needed tax relief and a supplemental payment to teachers. By working together, we can prioritize the financial well-being of our constituents and ensure that our homeowners get the tax relief they need, and our educators receive the recognition and support they deserve. It is crucial that we find common ground and enact meaningful measures that will benefit all Texans.”


Both bills must pass in a special session before August 9th to allow enough time for the November election. If approved by the voters, the $100,000 exemption would be for the 2023 tax year making property tax relief effective immediately. The payments to teachers would be for the 2023-2024 and the 2024-2025 school years.