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Voters Guide: Texas State Senate, District 20

This information was gathered and compiled by the League of Women Voters.
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3News has partnered with the League of Women Voters, a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to voter education, to help make sure the community has access to all the information they need before hitting the polls Nov. 3.

The following information was gathered and compiled by the League and published in their Voters Guide and on Vote411.org.

A member of the Texas Senate is elected for a four-year term. To be elected as a member of the Senate, the candidate must be a citizen of the United States, must be a qualified elector of the state, and must be at least 26 years old. He or she must have been a resident of the state for five years immediately preceding election, and for one year immediately preceding election must have been a resident of the district from which he or she was chosen.

The lieutenant governor serves as presiding officer--the president of the senate. The senate creates and enforces its own rules and judges the qualifications of its members.

The state senate, together with the house of representatives, constitute the Texas Legislature. The duties of the legislature include consideration of proposed laws and resolutions, consideration of proposed constitutional amendments for submission to the voters, and appropriation of all funds for the operation of state government. All bills for raising revenue considered by the legislature must originate in the house of representatives. The house alone can bring impeachment charges against a statewide officer, which charges must be tried by the senate.

State legislators in Texas make $600 per month, or $7,200 per year, plus a per diem of $190 for every day the Legislature is in session (also including any special sessions). That adds up to $33,800 a year for a regular session (140 days), with the total pay for a two-year term being $41,000.

Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Incumbent (Democrat)

Campaign Phone Number (956) 348-4477
Website http://www.senatorhinojosa.com
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/SenatorChuyHinojosa
Twitter 
@txchuy

BACKGROUND: Describe your strongest competency and life experience that qualify you to hold this office.

Growing up as a migrant farmworker, the oldest in a family of 10 children, I learned to work hard & value the importance of an education. I volunteered to serve my Country with the USMC and am a proud Vietnam Veteran. During my time in the Texas Legislature, both in the House & Senate, I have been named one of the Top 10 Legislators six times, 3 by Texas Monthly and 3 by Capitol Inside. I have the Leadership, Experience, and will continue delivering RESULTS for Senate District 20 and all Texans.

ISSUES: During your campaign, what is the number one concern expressed to you by the residents of your district? What is your response to this concern?

Health Care & Education. With the number of uninsured increasing even more due to the pandemic, I support expanding Medicaid. Healthcare is a necessity, not a luxury. I am committed to increasing access to health care, health insurance & to reducing the cost of prescription drugs. I am also committed to protecting the reforms & investments we made with HB 3 last session which provided salary increases to teachers & more funding focused on the needs of students. Education is the best equalizer.

RACIAL EQUITY: What kinds of policies, if any, would you pursue to promote social and racial justice in Texas?

I will continue working with all willing stakeholders & strongly support equality, respect, & dignity for a brighter & more equitable future for all Texans. We can achieve this by supporting increased funding for skilled labor job training and providing more educational financial support. We can also work together to reform, not defund, our police. This can be done by focusing on increased transparency, accountability, pushing for community policing, & increasing de-escalation training.

REDISTRICTING: Upon completion of the 2020 Census, a non-partisan redistricting commission should be created to ensure equitable voter representation.

Strongly disagree
Disagree
Neither agree nor disagree
Agree
Strongly agree

Please explain your answer.

I support an independent non-partisan commission to draw legislative and congressional districts. The voters should select their representatives and not the representatives in office selecting their voters.

PRIORITIES: Other than the issues previously addressed, what are your top three priorities, and, if elected, how would you address them?

Budget–This session we will face at least a $4.7 billion budget deficit. As Vice Chair of Senate Finance I will make sure we prioritize health, education & family needs. Infrastructure–As a key player in securing the funding for the Harbor Bridge replacement project, I will continue supporting & advocating for resources needed for highway construction & improvements, water systems for our communities, & broadband for rural areas. Higher Ed-Continue supporting and investing in TAMUCC & Del Mar.

Judy Cutright (Republican)

Campaign Email http://judyfortexas@gmail.com
Campaign Phone Number (512) 294-5096
Website http://www.judyfortexas.com
Facebook http://facebook.com/JudyforTexas
Twitter 
@judyfortexas20

BACKGROUND: Describe your strongest competency and life experience that qualify you to hold this office.

My diverse, extensive business and communications expertise, education credentials, and community involvement qualify me to be your devoted servant leader. I am an award-winning entrepreneur and founder of Cutright Communications, serving Fortune 500 corporations, non-profits, and educational institutions, As a fiscal conservative, I will strive to streamline government operations and provide needed services to constituents. Honesty, humility, and trustworthiness are values that guide my actions

ISSUES: During your campaign, what is the number one concern expressed to you by the residents of your district? What is your response to this concern?

Exorbitant residential and commercial property tax increases top the list. I will strongly advocate for property tax and appraisal reform. Streamlining government operations and promoting free enterprise markets will offset revenue losses. SB#2 initiatives can be enhanced by requiring voter approval for proposed property tax increases higher than 2.5% or population growth plus inflation. A 2021 freeze on business and residential property tax increases would help those impacted by COVID-19.

RACIAL EQUITY: What kinds of policies, if any, would you pursue to promote social and racial justice in Texas?

I will advocate for social and racial justice, pursuing policies underscoring constituents’ equal rights, shared values and goals. Incentivizing Opportunity Zones and TX Enterprise Zone programs will spur new investment in underserved communities. Required civics education programs, highlighting contributions of our diverse citizenry, will foster community pride. School choice gives disadvantaged a leg up. Enhanced funding for law enforcement training will build community trust and cooperation.

REDISTRICTING: Upon completion of the 2020 Census, a non-partisan redistricting commission should be created to ensure equitable voter representation.

Strongly disagree
Disagree
Neither agree nor disagree
Agree
Strongly agree

Please explain your answer.

I would consider the formation of a non-partisan redistricting commission to help prevent partisan gerrymandering. However, to establish such a commission is challenging since the majority of voters would have to approve a Texas Constitutional amendment, passed by more than two thirds of all members of each chamber of the Legislature. Appointing politically neutral Commissioners with mapping expertise may be a challenge. Requiring supermajority Legislature map approval may help insure fairness.

PRIORITIES: Other than the issues previously addressed, what are your top three priorities, and, if elected, how would you address them?

1) Quality Educational Opportunities for all Texans: The state should invest more in public education to relieve local.tax burden; expand career and technical training and professional educator development courses. 2) Affordable Housing: Reduce regulations and impact fees to lower construction costs. 3) Safety and Security: Beef up border security to prevent illegal drug & human trafficking; enhance school mental health services; strengthen emergency preparedness for citizens' health & welfare.

The above information was gathered and compiled by the League of Women Voters, a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to voter education.

3News has partnered with the League in order to help make sure our community has access to all the information they need before they hit the polls. You can find more of this information at Vote411.org.

Back to the Voters Guide.