Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa
Texas State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa has spent his life fighting for democratic ideals at home and abroad. A believer in the principles of education and hard work, Senator Hinojosa promotes policies that improve public schools, stimulate investment in business to create jobs, and protect the rights of working families. He strives to set a standard for just, efficient, and effective state government.
Raised in Mission, Hinojosa helped support his family as a farm worker before volunteering to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps. After serving in Vietnam, Hinojosa worked his way through college and earned a bachelor's degree in political science from then Pan American University in Edinburg, graduating with honors. He obtained a law degree from Georgetown University in Washington D.C., and worked for the Legal Aid Society of Nueces County in Corpus Christi and later as a Texas Assistant Attorney General in McAllen and San Antonio.
Senator Hinojosa has represented the people of South Texas in both the Texas House of Representatives and Senate for more than 20 years. His record shows a tireless dedication to bringing economic and educational benefits to the Coastal Bend area and South Texas. He believes Texas laws should reflect and protect the values of the working families who spend their lives here, raising children and investing in their futures.
Senator Hinojosa has earned a reputation as an effective lawmaker. He has worked tirelessly over the years on measures to improve education, reform the criminal justice system, strengthen consumer protection laws, and assist small businesses. Specifically, he has led efforts to address the physician and nurse shortages in Texas, and to rein in rising university tuition costs. He has worked with a bipartisan group of legislators to allocate more than $120 million on training and technology for border security. In support of families, he has passed legislation to protect women and children from domestic abuse.
Senator Hinojosa serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and also sits on the Senate's Criminal Justice, Transportation and Homeland Security, Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and the Natural Resources Committees. He is in his second term on the Sunset Advisory Commission, a bipartisan panel that reviews the effectiveness of state agencies. The panel decides to continue agencies or abolish unnecessary and duplicative government. Hinojosa serves on the Senate Selective Committee on Redistricting and the Legislative Budget Board, one of the state agencies that play a critical role in the development of the budget.
Hinojosa has twice been named one of Texas's top 10 legislators by Texas Monthly magazine, and in 2007, he again received accolades from the magazine for his work reforming the Texas Youth Commission. The National Organization for Women (NOW) have named Hinojosa their "Legislator of the Year", and he received the prestigious John Henry Faulk Award, presented by the American Civil Liberties Union. In 2006, he received the Public Servant of the Year Award from the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities, and in 2007, he received the Patient Advocacy Award from the Texas Academy of Family Physicians. Also in 2007, he was named Texas Medical Association's "Texas Medicine's Best Legislator" for his efforts to restore CHIP funding, improve childhood immunization rates and provide more accountability and transparency in contracts between physicians and health plans.