Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr., a native of Brownsville, was elected to the Texas Senate in November 1990, having first served two terms in the Texas House of Representatives. In 1971 he began his public service career as Cameron County Treasurer and later as a Cameron County Commissioner.
A member of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Lucio also serves as Chairman of the International Relations and Trade Committee. Additionally, he sits on the Senate Committees on Business and Commerce, State Affairs and Government Organization.
He was recently appointed Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Aging and also serves on the Interagency Task Force on Children with Special Needs and the Texas Tourism Caucus. He represents Texas on a number of national committees including Committees of the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Southern Legislative Conference and the Energy Council.
To improve access to quality health care in the Rio Grande Valley, Senator Lucio passed legislation to create the Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC). During the 81st Legislative Session, he passed legislation to transition the RAHC to a medical school and health science center by allowing for the creation of the University of Texas Health Science Center-South Texas, a first for the South Texas region.
Throughout his legislative career, Senator Lucio has championed more equitable public school funding, teacher raises and veterans causes, including legislation that supports establishing a Veterans Hospital in the Rio Grande Valley. He has passed bills that now provide a life without parole option in capital murder cases, water and wastewater funding for colonias and self-help programs to enable people to build their own homes. During the 80th Legislative Session, he passed a bill that created a Constitutional Amendment approved by voters authorizing $250 million in general obligation bonds for economically distressed areas to provide statewide water and wastewater services.
His commitment to families and children has resulted in expanded health coverage for children with autism, the installation of safety belts on new school buses and protected and enhanced health care benefits for families of peace officers killed in the line of duty.
A staunch advocate of higher education, he has authored legislation that developed a partnership with Texas Southmost College and created the University of Texas at Brownsville. He is also credited with passing the bill that created South Texas College, which currently boasts an enrollment of over 16,000 students.
During the 78th legislative session, Senator Lucio was honored when his colleagues elected him President Pro Tempore of the Senate. On April 26, 2003, he became part of a prestigious Texas tradition when the President Pro Tempore is officially sworn in as “Governor for a Day” while the Governor and Lt. Governor are out-of-state. Thousands of constituents and friends joined Senator Lucio at the State Capitol to celebrate the event.
Senator Lucio and his wife, Minnie, have two children, Lynda Anne (husband Carlos Cisneros), parents of grandchildren, Carlitos, Alejandro and Anna Lynda, and state Rep. Eddie Lucio III (wife Jaime), parents of granddaughter, Olivia Rose.