Saturday, May 18, 2013

Compromise keeps South Texas Medical School moving forward

Recent squabbling between different South Texas legislators was threatening to derail legislative efforts to create a top tier medical school in the Rio Grande Valley. Friday, however, proved to be a day of compromise that has kept the process going.  During the last couple of weeks, there had been substantial disagreement over the exact location of the proposed Medical School. The apparent compromise includes language that signals that the Valley will share in where the future medical school will be.

I guess in this particular case, Laredo is not considered to be in the Rio Grande Valley as often has been mentioned. With Hidalgo county figuring to get part of the proposed medical school, and considering that McAllen is in Hidalgo county, is it possible that McAllen is eating our lunch again?

Excerpted from The Texas Tribune

When Senate Bill 24, which contained the original language, was brought up in the House on Friday, an amendment was added that state Rep. Rene Oliveira, D-Brownsville, standing alongside the entire Valley delegation, said was a proposal from the UT System "that cemented us together."

"Like any family, we have squabbles, and like any family, we unite," Oliveira said.

The bill as amended creates an office to oversee undergraduate education in Hidalgo County and an office to oversee graduate education in Cameron County. It says educational programs for the first two years of students' medical education should primarily be run in Hidalgo, and programs for the third and fourth year should be run in Cameron. And it also says that the system must ensure that all existing facilities and resources are fully utilized.

"Ultimately, this leaves enough flexibility for the UT System to have a regional medical school," said state Rep. Eddie Lucio III, D-Harlingen, the author of the amendment.
After SB 24 clears the House, it will go to the Senate, where it is expected to be easily approved. With the support of more than two-thirds of the Legislature, the new university will be eligible to receive money from the Permanent University Fund, a major source of revenue that only certain schools are allowed to tap.


  1. McAllen is eating Laredo's lunch. Just too damn much of it. Congrats on being fat city USA.

    They also spend the most on medical expenses, and are not any healthier for it. Hopefully, a med school will change that.

  2. All that lunch-eating was bound to get them ranked up there.

  3. One day you will all see the light, Laredo is a town of 250,000 people with no surrounding population centers. McAllen is a city of about the same size, with over 2 million people in surrounding population centers.

  4. But those extra 2 or so million across from the valley are not a figment of imagination either.