I believe that a foundation based on access to a high-quality, publicly-provided education is key to preparing the next generation for good jobs. Every Texas child deserves a chance at the American dream, and a good education is key to achieving that dream.
I am proud to have co-authored legislation that brought the new medical school to McAllen, and brought Rio Grande Valley residents an advanced learning opportunity, such as earning an M.D. In 2020, we celebrated our first graduating class. The new medical school will ensure the Valley meets the growing need for doctors and healthcare providers for a growing population, while providing critical access and care to the uninsured.
I am proud to support The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, which connects Cameron and Hidalgo County. This institution provides more jobs and educational opportunities for our children and families, transforms the Rio Grande Valley’s education system, provides new research institutions and is home to a first-class medical school.
I battled in Austin to add $3.4 billion dollars back into our state’s public schools, helping keep good teachers in the classrooms that need them most. I work closely with my public schools and know first-hand the importance of keeping class sizes small, creating more career education programs, and ensuring every child is prepared to go to college or enter the workplace.
In the 87th session, I passed multiple bills to improve bilingual education in Texas. Because my mother was a teacher and one of the first bilingual educators in the state, it’s so important to me that we support our teachers and students. That is why I passed legislation to improve training for bilingual educators so they have the tools they need in the classroom.
I am proud to serve as Vice Chair of the important House Committee on Public Health and honored to have served on this committee every session since my first election. I have been fighting non-stop to address the many healthcare challenges plaguing the lower Rio Grande Valley. I understand first-hand the importance of affordable, quality healthcare that is accessible to all Texans, which is why I co-authored SB 24 in 2013, creating South Texas’ first medical school.
During my ten-year tenure in the Texas House of Representatives, I have passed landmark legislation to improve and protect the public health of all Texans by strengthening the state’s childhood immunization program. I have championed sweeping patients’ rights reforms, including protecting patients and healthcare professionals from abusive managed care tactics.
I also passed Senate Bill 1150, the companion to HB 3712 during my first session, which offers protections to reduce administrative burdens on managed care providers. These protections include the prompt and accurate payment of claims; ability to electronically submit claims, corrected claims, prior authorizations, appeals and supporting documentations; and prompt credentialing and contracting of policies.
Most recently, I worked to bring Teledentistry up to par with Telemedicine. Not only did the COVID-19 pandemic create challenges for providers and patients meeting in person, but it also illustrated the possibilities of technology and meeting remotely. My colleagues and I worked diligently to bring Texas code up to the twenty-first century of medicine. I also passed a bill to improve the triage and transport of trauma patients in the Rio Grande Valley so that folks will end up at the nearest facility equipped to handle their treatment.
I’ve been working for the agricultural community since I was first elected to the Texas House. In 2013, I authored House Bill 3761, which evaluated the feasibility of a Border Agricultural Inspection Training Program which would allow the Texas Department of Agriculture to explore supplementing federal customs & border protection officers with agricultural inspectors at the ports of entry on the border. This would significantly shorten wait times for a product whose shelf life demands that every hour count.
In 2019, I ensured funding for the program through House Bill 2155, which continues the Agricultural Inspection Grant Program through the Department of Agriculture.
I have continued this effort by ensuring funding for the program through House Bill 1371 in the 87th legislative session, which continues the Agricultural Inspection Grant Program through the Department of Agriculture.
District 41 is one of the most productive gateways to commerce with Mexico. Every day, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of commerce travel across our bridges, roads and highways. Yet the state is woefully behind in keeping up with the infrastructure needs for a growing population — and as one of the fastest growing areas, it’s time we get our fair share.
I have consistently worked with TxDOT to invest to expand and repair our highways, bridges, and roadways.
During the 83rd Legislative Session, I co-authored House Bill 474 which allowed produce companies to move their perishable products quicker across the border to improve traffic and health and safety. During the 87th session, I passed House Bill 1371 which continues the program.
Additionally, during the 86th Legislative Session I co-authored House Bill 2422 which helps promote broadband expansion projects in coordination with the Texas Department of Transportation.
South Texans know the meaning of entrepreneurialism. Small and family-owned businesses are the unsung heroes of our economy. As State Representative, I passed legislation that protects small business exemptions on the margins tax. I support buy local/buy Texas mandates, and oppose tax breaks to out-of-state businesses that are not offered to Texas businesses.
During the 83rd session, I passed House Bill 3714, which establishes a task force of qualified individuals to review difficulties encountered by small businesses with the regulatory system and ensure information for small businesses is provided in plain language to the public.
Most recently, I voted in support of Unemployment Insurance Tax Relief (HB 7), Payment Protection Program (PPP) Loan Tax Relief (HB 1195), and Pandemic Liability Protection (SB 6).
I will continue to protect local job creators and small businesses.
The sons and daughters of South Texas have long answered the call to duty. We owe them more than our gratitude; we owe them the healthcare they were promised and a real chance to make a life for themselves when they return home from duty. I will continue to fight to get a VA Hospital in South Texas; protect veteran benefits for their families, including home loan assistance and tuition assistance; and stop the abusive practices of predatory lenders who take advantage of veterans and their families, especially as one breadwinner is serving overseas.
I am committed to supporting mental health services and suicide prevention for veterans. I supported House Bill 1802 both in committee and on the House floor. The bill approved psilocybin, the active ingredient in “magic” mushrooms for clinical trials to treat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
We must keep our families safe. I will continue working with local officials and law enforcement to ensure that they have the tools they need to combat drug and human trafficking along our border.
South Texas was hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. I know people who died from the virus, and I know you do, too. I’m heart-broken. You can count on me to fight for our families and small businesses to get the economic support they need to recover, and to make sure Texas is better prepared to combat another pandemic.
Meet Bobby Guerra
R.D. “Bobby” Guerra was born in Edinburg, Texas in 1953. The Guerra family, both paternal and maternal, have been South Texas ranchers since the 1700’s. Bobby has been married to his beautiful wife Leslie-Yoder Guerra since 1979 and they have three children Justin, Cameron, and Tessa and a beloved grandchild, Olivia.
Continuing his dedication to public service, Bobby is proud to serve as State Representative for House District 41, advocating for the people and the community of his home. Representative Guerra proudly represents the cities of McAllen, Mission, Edinburg, Palmhurst, Palmview, Alton and Pharr. Elected in 2012, Representative Guerra is serving his fourth term in the Texas House of Representatives. He currently serves as a senior member on the House Committees on Public Health and State Affairs.
Bobby has been practicing law for nearly 30 years; He was selected as a Texas Super Lawyer in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. In 2012, Bobby became the managing partner of Guerra, Leeds, Sabo & Hernandez, P.L.L.C. As a founding member of the firm, Bobby has helped local city governments protect taxpayers, and represented a variety of businesses. In addition, he has practiced in all of the federal and state courts in the Rio Grande Valley and parts of South Texas.
In March 2000, Bobby was elected Chairman of the Hidalgo County Democratic Party where he served two terms. He has also served on the board of directors of the University of Texas-Pan American Alumni Association, and was elected president of the board in 2003. In addition to his active service on the Easter Seal’s Board of Directors, Bobby served as president in 2013-2014.
Bobby graduated from Pan American University in 1977 with a B.S. degree and a double major in Biology and Chemistry. For several years, Bobby was a television reporter and news anchor at the ABC affiliate KRGV-TV Channel 5 prior to attending law school. In 1985 he graduated with cum laude honors from Texas Southern University Law School in Houston. He was admitted to the bar in 1985 and is licensed to practice in Texas and the United States District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Texas.