Lucio III, Canales part of Dem caucus’s pandemic committee 

Two Rio Grande Valley state representatives will be part of a committee that aims to make sure that the House passes “meaningful” COVID-19 relief this session, a news release from the Texas House Democratic Caucus said Wednesday.

State Rep. Eddie Lucio III, D-Brownsville, will chair the Democratic caucus’s Pandemic Response Committee and state Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, will be one of nine members in that group.

“I am honored to be leading the HDC’s Pandemic Response Committee this Session,” Lucio said in the release. “My colleagues and I are dedicated to providing solutions to every Texan who has been impacted by COVID-19.”

The Texas House Democratic Caucus (HDC) serves as a membership group and is composed of all Democrats in the Texas House. This particular group of lawmakers that will focus on the pandemic will operate under the caucus’s existing Steering and Policy Committee.

State Rep. Toni Rose, D-Dallas, who serves as the caucus’s vice-chair and chair of the Steering and Policy Committee, noted this week marks one year since the original COVID-19 Disaster Declaration was issued in Texas.

“I know this committee will fight hard for life-saving legislation that will finally end this crisis in our state, and help all Texans recover from the impacts the last 365 days have had on our lives,” Rose said.

Lucio outlined some of the group’s priorities.

“Together, we will increase equitable access to health care, protect our front-line workers, help small businesses recover and improve our state public health systems so nothing like this ever happens in our state again,” he said.

His other colleagues in that effort are: Rep. Rhetta Bowers, D-Garland; Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston; Rep. Nicole Collier, D-Fort Worth; Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin; Rep. Julie Johnson, D-Carrollton; Rep. Terry Meza, D-Irving; and Rep. Erin Zwiener, D-Driftwood.