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Texas This Week: State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, candidate for Texas Senate District 14 | KVUE

from KVUE news in Austin you're watching

Texas this week with Ashley good oh good

morning early voting in the Texas

primary runoff and special election

starts tomorrow and Texas governor Greg

Abbott is pulling back on some reopening

let's get to the three things you need

to know in Texas politics as the number

of new Cova 19 cases continues to

increase governor Greg Abbott took

action to try and slow the spread on

Friday he ordered bars across the state

to close and reduced dining capacity of

restaurants rafting and tubing

businesses are ordered to closed and all

gatherings was more than 100 people now

need county approval the move comes one

day after the governor banned elective

surgeries in four of the state's largest

counties including travis and paused any

further reopening of businesses Vice

President Mike Pence is scheduled to be

in Texas later today he's speaking at a

Baptist mega Church in Dallas led by a

staunch supporter of President Donald

Trump but with the rising number of Cova

19 cases the VP who leads the White

House coronavirus task force said Friday

he also plans to get a ground report of

the situation in the Lone Star State

early voting in the Texas primary and

special elections starts tomorrow to

help you make an informed decision on

Monday night at 6:30 p.m. KVUE news is

hosting a debate between the two

Democrats vying to take on US Senator

John Cornyn in November combat veteran

MJ Hagar and state senator Royce West

you can watch it live on cave UK Viacom

and the KVUE YouTube channel again

that's Monday June 29th at 6:30 p.m.

when Travis and Bastrop County voters

cast their ballots they'll select

someone to fill the state Senate seat

vacated by Kurt Watson who resigned to

become the founding dean of the Hobby

School of Public Affairs at the

University of Houston six candidates

want the job including state

representative Eddie Rodriguez from

Austin we sat down to the

discuss his campaign you served in the

Texas House of Representatives for

nearly 18 years now but tell us a little

bit about your background what you do

when you're not in the legislature when

you guys are in session well yeah well I

am a little I work for a title company

I'm a vice president of a tolerance

company but mostly I like to spend time

with my family and and hang out with the

kids and and you know do do that kind of

thing just to have a real a real life of

course session really doesn't end you

know a good a good state representative

and a good senator will be working

during the interim to get some bill

ideas and to meet with the constituents

and of course that goes on all the time

for me yeah you know as a representative

right now you serve on several

committees you hold leadership positions

why would you want to trade that in to

run for the states in it and be a

freshman that's a that's a fair question

it's a fair question I I come at this

front with a servant's heart that's why

I ran for the State House 18 years ago

and that's why I'm running for the state

Senate I want the opportunity to serve

and help more people the Senate District

is about eight hundred thousand people

and you know House districts 176 I think

is an opportunity there being one of 31

to get more things accomplished for the

people of Senate District fourteen and I

wanted to I wanted to just take what

I've learned in the house and my

relationships that I have in the Senate

I have served with half of the senators

in the house and I want to be able to to

serve my constituents in a different

capacity in the state Senate

let's talk about your time as a

representative what legislation have you

passed that you believe has had the most

significant impact on Texans

that's a great question there's there's

a couple that come to mind if I could if

I can list two if that's okay I passed a

bill in 20 of lethally okay I passed a

bill in 2013 to expand the free

breakfast program to include 700,000

more kids in that program and I think be

seen with this pandemic how important

food is to children many kids get their

breakfast and lunches at school and but

for that they may not actually have much

to eat so I'm really proud of that and

I'm proud that I'm able to help

low-income kids in that way and the

other thing is I expanded the dual

credit program which basically means

that a high school kid can graduate from

high school with up to two years of

college under his belt his or her belt

and that is good because the the student

can take those two two years worth of

credit to a four-year institution or

they may have a certification and

graduate high school with a with a clear

career path and they can start working

right after high school and I think

that's a that's what they're quite proud

of 2021 Texas Legislative Session is

promising to be interesting probably a

little bit contentious not only will

lawmakers be dealing with a budget

deficit thanks to the Cova 19 pandemic

it's also gonna be a redistricting year

so talk to us about the skills you have

to help navigate that and get the goals

of central Texans passed yeah that's a

great question well I've been telling

people this in a public setting that you

know just because I've been in the house

for 18 years doesn't qualify me in and

of itself to be the next senator for SD

14 but it is where I've been able to

accomplish and and what and I've shown

to be effective as someone that has been

in the it that is in the minority in the

house and it happens with the whole 18

years and I will be in the Senate as

well but I think what that experience

brings is when you come to a really hard

budget like we're going to be facing

next session next session will be my

tenth budget session next session will

be my fifth reducer

getting session 1 is a step a staffer

and then four is a member of the

legislature so those experiences they

count they mean something and they mean

something I think now in this moment

when you have a budget like we're going

to have and tackling many many other

issues that we're going to tackle that

that experience is really important

redistricting I've been you know

fighting for the voters of Central Texas

in Travis County for 18 years when it

comes to gerrymandering trying to fight

for fair districts just districts and

voting rights that's what I've done is

the chair policy chair of the

mexican-american legislative caucus and

I will continue doing that in the Senate

you know what would be your priority

legislation you you mentioned one piece

of legislation but what would really be

your priority if elected to this in it

yeah that's a great question too I mean

it's hard not to look at kovat and not

and not say something like protecting

the budget and it's pertains

particularly to funding of health care

and public education those are those are

obvious top two there but I think

another one that I would really focus on

next session is universal broadband I

think that this cook that kovat has

demonstrated how the inequities basic

that we have in our in our society here

in the state of Texas and here in

Central Texas but the disadvantage that

you are in if you do not have access to

the Internet whether you're in the rural

community or you're in an urban setting

like Austin it's it's trim it's a

tremendous disadvantage we might be

doing working from home a whole lot more

because of kovat and we've seen that a

lot of people are doing that the same

thing with maybe schooling at Halloween

we don't know what next the next

semester the next year is going to look

like for our students in public schools

so you you're in a disadvantage we can't

teach your kid at home and then if you

want to see your you want to see your

doctor as well a lot of a lot of times

during this crisis people visited their

doctors via telemedicine and so I want

to make it so that everyone has access

to the Internet affordable Internet

access and I think that's going to have

bipartisan support you

the Republicans that tend to represent

rural areas you have Democrats that tend

to represent urban areas and then you

have rural and urban and we can I think

get something substantial done next

session that that's one of my top

priorities you know there are six

candidates on the ballot so why should

our viewers elect you this July well

again I think it really boils down to

the right experience and the the right

judgment and and the right vision for

this to get us through this current

crisis

and to help us in the long recovery to

come and I have that experience I have

the relationships in the Senate already

again I've served with the members of

many members of the senator were in the

house and I served with them and I think

that's in this moment in time you need

somebody that has those relationships

and those and the skillset to get things

done for the people of district 51 the

fact of the matter is it's not this race

is not about the six people running for

this seat it's about the people that

live in SD 14 Senate District 14 whose

best to suit it to help them and guide

them and lead in the Senate at this

moment in time in this critical moment

in time when we're gonna have a very

very tough budget when we're gonna have

redistricting and we're gonna have to

face some tough challenges in the next

session or two and I think that in this

particular moment my experience is

superior and then and it should be

considered less seriously and I'm very

happy and I would be proud to take that

experience and and the effectiveness

that it brings to the states in it you

can find more information about

representative Rodriguez's campaign and

its platform at koat.com don't forget

early voting starts tomorrow June 29th

and Election Day is July 14th that's

Texas this week