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State Representative District 37

  • Arturo Alonzo (Dem)

  • Alex Dominguez (Dem)

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    Rene O. Oliveira (Dem) Attorney/State Representative

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Biographical Information

What are your qualifications for the job, and how do your qualifications (education, training and experience) make you the best candidate?

What, in your view, are the most important challenges to the office you are seeking, and how can you best serve your constituency during your term of office?

If elected, how would you demonstrate your willingness to work across party lines for the benefit of your constituents?

What do you consider the top three priorities for this District?

What steps, if any, can the State Legislature take in order to stop the decline of the middle class?

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Age 63
Education Brownsville High School The University of Texas The University of Texas Law School
Experience More than 3 decades of legislative and legal experience Chairman of House Committee & Business & Industry, former chairman Ways and Means Committee, Economic Committee, Land & Resource Management Committee, former Vice-Chairman of Public Education Committee Cameron County Democratic Party Chair
List of endorsers Association Of Brownsville Educators, and every major education group. Brownsville Police Officers Association, and every major law enforcement association. Brownsville Firefighter Association, and Texas State Firefighters Association. Brownsville-SPI Board of Realtors. SPI Mayor Dennis Stahl, Jim Tipton of Tipton Motors, Dr. Asim Zamir. Texas Medical Association, Texas Hospital Association, Texas Association of Business, AFL-CIO, Texas State Employees Union, Texas Builders Assocation.
Twitter @ReneOOliveira
I have more than 3 decades of legislative and legal experience. In that time, I have successfully improved our economy, jobs, educational opportunities, and infrastructure. I passed 2 laws to help SpaceX come to Brownsville and secured $18 million to help improve infrastructure to support their launch facility. I have also created 2 state job training programs, which have helped workers improve their job skills and businesses like Keppel Amfels create better paying jobs. I passsed the law creating UTRGV. Most importantly, I passed a constitutional amendment which has resulted in more than $40 billion in child support payments, improving the lives of children and keeping them off public assistance. Over my years in the legislature, state spending in Valley schools has increased by billions of dollars. I am the only member of the Valley House delegation to chair a “substantive” committee, the Business & Industry Comm., and sit on 3 committees. I was born and raised in Brownsville.

Giving workers the education and skills to obtain better jobs, and creating better paying jobs are our most important challenges. Through our changes to school finance, we have added billions of dollars to Valley schools. I authored and sponsored the creation of UTRGV, and made it eligible for tens of millions of dollars in new funding. Part of that is the new medical school, and the new buildings being built on campus. Additionally, our students now have more degrees to choose from. I’ve also created 2 state job training programs to improve the skills of workers who don’t go to college. As our educational and skills levels improve, our opportunity to attract new business does, too. I wrote and passed 2 laws to help bring in SpaceX. I also passed the tax incentives that have made Texas #1 in wind energy, and wind companies are putting Valley people to work. We have made great progress, and I’m proud of my role. We do have more to do, and I have a demonstrated record of success.
My record is proof I work across party lines. A Republican speaker has appointed me, a Democrat, to lead 3 different committees. Each committee had a Republican majority, but we worked together to cut taxes for disabled veterans, restrict eminent domain, improve workers comp benefits for the surviving spouses of first responders killed in the line of duty. I worked with a Republican on an incentive bill that has made Texas the top rated state for manufacturing and #1 in wind energy. I worked with Governor Bush to revamp programs to help move people from welfare to work. I have also worked with Republicans to reduce school taxes and provide more state funding for our public schools. There are times, however, when Republican solutions are just wrong or discriminatory. I fought them on the bathroom bill, sanctuary cities, health care cuts, education discrimination, and many other issues. I’m the only candidate who has ever worked with lawmakers from another party successfully.
Health care, jobs and education, and all three are connected. We have made significant progress in all three areas, but we still have work to do. We have a large population that is low income and relies on government assistance for health care. We have to fight state and federal budget cuts which will remove the safety net for these people. We also have an aging population that needs help. Our retired teachers are still facing rising costs and uncertainty. Twice the House voted to spend $1.8 billion to help, but the Republican-dominated Senate would only add $215 million, and kick the can down the road. Teachers who have devoted their lives to educating our children deserve better. Proposed cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans health care are also significant threats to our citizens. I think my record on job creation, improving workers’ skills, and improving educational opportunities has put us on the right track and demonstrated good results.
Help create better paying jobs and provide training for those jobs, improve educational opportunity and affordability, and restructure the tax burden. Texas is very competitive in attracting higher paying jobs, but ultra conservative, discriminatory legislation, like the bathrooom bill and sanctuary cities, drive away the businesses that are creating the best paying jobs. We need to stop that. Good paying jobs are more complicated and need specialized training. Without new skills people in the middle class will slide down the economic ladder. We need more job training. Texas has concentrated our best education in our two flagship universities. That is not enough, and pushes up the costs. We have to bring up our regional universities, like UTRGV, to flagship level. The middle class pays a higher percentage of its income in taxes than the wealthy. Everyone should pay his or her fair share. High property taxes also hit the middle class hard, making it harder to buy a home.