McALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A number of appointments were announced Monday for Texas state Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, who represents a portion of Hidalgo County and communities stretching north.

A McAllen-native and Democrat, Hinojosa will serve as vice chair of the state’s Senate Finance Committee during the 88th Legislative Session, following his appointment by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

“Given the historic $32.7 billion surplus, we have a great responsibility to address critical issues such as providing property tax relief, increasing salaries for teachers, state employees, and peace officers,” Hinojosa said. “We will also provide additional support to our retired teachers, increase funding for community colleges and workforce training, and invest in our roads, broadband, water and drainage infrastructure, and the electric grid.”

The veteran senator is entering his ninth legislative session as part of the Senate Finance Committee and his eighth session as vice chair.

“This is an influential leadership position that will benefit the South Texas region,” Hinojosa’s office said.

Hinojosa said he was honored by the appointment to continue as vice chair.

Hinojosa said he would work to strengthen the state’s economy, increase access to affordable health care, support students and public school teachers, and community safety.

“He will continue serving on the Senate Border Security Committee, the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, and the Senate Jurisprudence Committee,” Hinojosa’s office stated Monday. “Earlier this session, [Patrick] had also appointed [Hinojosa] to the Senate Special Committee on Redistricting and named him vice chair of that committee.”

Hinojosa proudly represents the counties of Jim Wells and Brooks and potions of Nueces and Hidalgo counties.