El Paso

Sen. Jose Rodriguez reflects on legislative and special sessions during local town hall

Senator Jose Rodriquez holds town hall

EL PASO, Texas - Sen. José Rodríguez did not mince words when describing the 85th legislative session during a town hall on Saturday.

"This was the worst session people had seen in memory," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said the session was divisive, and it was difficult for politicians on both sides of the aisle to collaborate.

Gov. Greg Abbott's special session ended earlier this month, and Rodriguez said he was pleased the divisive bathroom bill did not pass.

Several residents who attended the town hall asked Rodriguez about recent tax increases that the City of El Paso approved. Rodriguez urged those in attendance that it is their civic duty to vote. He said he was disappointed with the low voter-turnout during the mayoral election.

"People should be held accountable themselves. If you're not getting out there to vote and all you're doing is complaining, well do you think things are going to change? Do you think your voice is going to be heard? Obviously not," Rodriguez said. 

Rodriguez has also been extremely outspoken against Senate Bill 4, the so-called "anti-sanctuary cities' law. He said he believes a federal judge will have a ruling on the constitutionality of the law before it goes into effect on September 1.

"I predict that the court is going to hold either all or a good part of Senate Bill 4 unconstitutional," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez was also critical of President Donald Trump's comments earlier in the week when he threatened to shut down the government if there is not funding for his proposed border wall.

"You're really going to shut down the government because your wall -- your pet project -- is not going to get built the way you want it?," Rodriguez said. "Virtual walls meaning cameras, using technology, more boots on the ground. But not wasting billions of dollars on a metal fence."

Rodriguez's town hall was held at El Paso High School.

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