+ − Contact Information
Phone: (512) 463-0129
P.O. Box 12068, Capitol Station
Austin, TX 78711
+ − Biography
José Rodríguez represents Texas Senate District 29, which includes the counties of El Paso, Hudspeth, Culberson, Jeff Davis, and Presidio. He represents both urban and rural constituencies, and more than 350 miles of the Texas-Mexico border. Rodríguez currently serves as the Chairman of the Senate Hispanic Caucus, Vice Chairman of the Senate Jurisprudence Committee, and a member of the Senate Committees on Criminal Justice, Veteran Affairs and Military Installations, and Government Organization.
The son of migrant farm workers, Rodríguez was born in Alice, Texas. From an early age, he worked in fields throughout the country to help support a family of nine. He and his family have made their home in El Paso since 1983 where they have been deeply involved in civic, economic development and human rights activities. Rodríguez graduated from Pan American University in Edinburg, Texas, where he served as student body president in 1971, and he received his law degree from the National Law Center at George Washington University in 1974. Prior to his election to the Texas Senate, Rodríguez served as the El Paso County Attorney for 17 years.
As a state Senator, Rodríguez is a staunch advocate for those in need. He has proven himself an effective voice for SD 29, passing numerous pieces of legislation directly affecting the region. As a freshman legislator in 2011, Rodríguez passed 41 bills related to education, health care, economic development, renewable energy, public safety and the courts, ethics and government transparency, and the military. His hard work and tenacity on the Senate floor gained him numerous accolades, including being named "Freshman MVP" by the highly regarded online publication, Capitol Inside; "Legislative Hero" by Texas Access to Justice Foundation; "Best of Senate" by the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas; and "Advocate of the Year, Elected Official" by Texas Association for Education of Young Children.
During the 2013 legislative session, Rodríguez continued this remarkable record of achievement. He passed 50 bills and two concurrent resolutions into law. The bills included local priorities with statewide impact — including the transformation of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso from a branch of the Lubbock-based health sciences center to an independent, standalone university component of the Texas Tech University System — as well as a series of bills to address cheating and accountability in standardized testing.
Rodríguez also passed a number of local good governance bills and significant statewide laws dealing with family law, guardianship, probate, trust, and criminal justice issues. This past August, the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Texas named him "Legislator of the Year" for his efforts to protect those involved in family law disputes. For his work on criminal justice issues, the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas recently honored him as "Best of the Senate."
Rodríguez advocated for adequate funding for public education, investment in higher education, and access to health care. In recognition of his commitment to improving women’s health care and promoting the best health outcomes for women and their newborns, The American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynecologists named him "2013 Texas Women's Health Champion." In addition, he fought against efforts to draw electoral lines that diluted minority voting strength and for equal rights for women, minorities and the LGBT community, earning him the "Champion of Equality" award from Equality Texas.