Do Rio Grande Valley cities need more transparency? A local State Representative thinks so.
House Bill 81, written by Rep. Terry Canales (D-Edinburg), was approved by the Texas House and Senate that would require governmental entities to disclose certain information about concerts and other public events that were funded by taxpayer dollars.
“We need to have more transparency,” Canales said. “If there are tax dollars, the government should tell you how they spend them, unless it’s a national security, or a concern.”
The bill was created after the city of McAllen did not want to disclose how much they paid Spanish Singer Enrique Iglesias for a concert during a Christmas Parade in 2015.
“It’s not a big deal to us, the number is actually pretty small, a lot smaller than most people think,” said Roy Rodriguez, McAllen City Manager.
But now that House Bill 81 has passed both the house and senate, it’s headed to the Governor’s office where it would officially mandate any information related to parades, concerts, or entertainment events paid for with public funds to be released to the public.
“This is a transparency bill, so this practice doesn’t continue state wide and I know McAllen would never do anything like this again,” Canales said.
And McAllen agrees.
“We don’t have any problems with it or any concerns, historically, traditionally McAllen has always been very transparent.”
Rodriguez said with a population of over 142,000 people, having entertainment is important.
“We’re always bringing talent to McAllen, that’s something that’s very very important to us, we realize that the position that McAllen is in, is the leader of the region. we owe that to the community, the Rio Grande Valley.”
If and when House Bill 81 is signed by Governor Abbott, CBS 4 will update this story.