Legislative

Speaker Straus to Retire and Senate Interim Chargers

Reports are that House Speaker Joe Straus will not run for reelection….

Lt. Governor’s Dan Patrick has released his interim charges including:

Higher Education Committee

Texas House of Representatives Speaker Joe Straus releases Interim Charges For House Committee on Higher Education

1. Determine, to the extent possible, the scope of financial losses to 2- and 4-year institutions, including facilities, that resulted from Hurricane Harvey. Recommend possible state actions to mitigate any negative impact on institutions and ensure governance structures and parameters allow for effective responses. Review the educational opportunities offered to students displaced by Harvey throughout the state. Recommend any changes that could improve the process and what additional services might be needed for these displaced students.

Lt. Governor appoints members of Higher Ed Funding Committee

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced the appointments of Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills; Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham; Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen; Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels; and Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, to the Joint Interim Committee on Higher Education Formula Funding. Sen. Hancock has been designated as co-chair. Upon making the appointments Lt. Gov. Patrick said:

Legislative Special Session Opinion

The following was recently published by State Representative Helen Giddings

AUSTIN — Last month, Gov. Greg Abbott called a special legislative session, declaring, "If I'm going to ask taxpayers to foot the bill for a special session, I intend to make it count." He proceeded to lay out 19 items for our consideration, including a new "bathroom bill" to regulate local school district policies, a "revenue cap" to regulate local municipalities, and new abortion reporting burdens to regulate local hospitals.

Legislative Special Session

With the Special Legislative Session beginning this week, the spotlight is not on higher education, though TACT will continue to monitor issues for those affecting faculty. The Governor has only mentioned 20 issues that might be fair game during these 30 days, but already hundreds of pieces of legislation have been filed. As always, many bills address public education, which TACT emphasized as a priority during the Regular Session. The bills filed mentioning higher education are limited to:

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