Fallen DPS trooper Eduardo Chávez could have segment of U.S. 83 named in his honor by Legislature
A two-mile segment of U.S. Expressway 83, beginning at the Hidalgo-Starr county line and proceeding northwest for two miles, would be renamed Trooper Eduardo Chávez Memorial Highway under legislation filed by Rep. Sergio Muñoz, Jr., D-Mission.
The measure, House Bill 442, would honor the fallen DPS officer, a 1994 graduate from Edinburg High School, who was killed in the Valley while responding to a call for help in 2006.
House Bill 442, which is also co-authored by Rep. Ryan Guillen, D-Rio Grande City, if passed by the Texas Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry, would designate the portion of U.S. Highway 83 in Starr County from the eastern boundary of Starr County to Farm-to-Market Road 2360 in Chávez’ honor.
Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, will be signing on as a co-author of the legislation in the coming days. A Senate sponsor for HB 442 has not yet been announced.
Hidalgo County’s newest state representatives won’t feel out of place.
In a legislative session where 43 freshmen were sworn into the 150-member House — the most in four decades — Hidalgo County accounts for three of them. State Reps. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg; Oscar Longoria, D-Mission; and Bobby Guerra, D-McAllen, took office Tuesday in the county’s delegation that is relatively lean on experience, both a blessing and a curse.
“Since half the House will be freshmen and sophomores, it provides a good opportunity for us to move up quickly,” said Longoria, a Mission attorney elected to the Rio Grande Valley’s new seat that runs between Hidalgo and Cameron counties.
Texas legislators began their 140-day session Tuesday cast around a budget battle where the high number of newcomers will play a big role. While the state’s major responsibility will be passing a new budget after historic cuts the last go-around, Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst will push fiscally and socially conservative measures that include drug testing for welfare and unemployment recipients and a lean budget that steers clear of the state’s surplus.
EDINBURG — Standing with leaders from the University of Texas System and local universities Friday, area legislators said they would do whatever it took to win the two-thirds approval of state lawmakers for a new Rio Grande Valley university.
A plan approved by the UT board of regents this week would merge the University of Texas-Pan American, the University of Texas at Brownsville and regional academic health science centers into an institution that could equal the state’s emerging research universities.
“I will work tirelessly to make sure the legislature supports these efforts,” said state Rep. Terry Canales, who begins his first legislative session in January. “I know that I speak for the rest of the Valley delegation when I say you can have faith that we will pursue this vigorously and tirelessly.”