At the start of the 81st Legislative Session State Representative I declared that the establishment of a medical school in the Rio Grande Valley was my and the region's number one legislative priority. Now with session over and with that legislation headed to Governor Rick Perry for his signature, we can claim a huge victory for South Texas .
The Rio Grande Valley has been long underserved in access to healthcare and health care providers. The establishment of a medical school and health science center will not only serve to bridge that gap but it has the power to transform our economy. I applaud State Senator Eddie Lucio for his leadership, our legislative delegation and community and business leaders for all their efforts. While we can relish this achievement we have a lot of important work ahead to ensure that the facility is fully funded and world class.
I was a sponsor of SB 98 which authorizes the creation of the medical school in the Rio Grande Valley . The passage of the legislation will transform the Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC) into a 4 year, stand alone medical school. The RAHC currently has a medical education and research component in Harlingen and Edinburg . Funding for the facility will begin in 2015 to give the University of Texas System some time to move forward with the development and planning for the state's newest health science center.
Pena is a Democrat, and he goes on to lament the lack of a CHIP expansion, but will Rick get credit at all from Hispanic voters for the creation of a new medical school in the valley? Maybe.