Legislative Day & Spring Board Meeting, March 3rd

With several critical issues looming this Legislative Session including a faculty hiring freeze and elimination of $1 billion in “special item” funding, this Legislative Day takes on added significance. We have thus far secured meeting times with the Senate Committee on Higher Education, Senate Committee on State Affairs and the House Committee on Appropriations. Should you desire, we will also schedule a meeting with your own district representative.

Faculty Hiring Freeze Announced by Governor

According to the February 1st Austin American-Statesman newspaper, Governor Abbott announced yesterday a freeze on new faculty hiring through August if the funds are from state appropriations. There may be some wiggle room for administrators to shift funds or request a waiver from the Governor’s Office. Additionally, the Governor asked the Legislature for full funding of the Governor’s University Research Initiative which pays one-time expenses of setting up facilities for new researchers.

Senate Budget Eliminates $1 Billion in Special Item Funding

Last week we reported on how the House and Senate budget proposals were shaping up to look very different. This week we find an example of just how different.

House and Senate Budget Proposals Looking Very Different

Texas legislators in the House and Senate have begun one of their most important tasks, budgeting. As the early versions of each budget have been released, it is plain they have different goals in mind.

According to the Texas Tribune article, Analysis: Legislators start with a $5.3 billion difference of opinion, the Senate aims to make at least $690 million in cuts to higher education, while the House calls for legislators to find funding for programs or cut the programs altogether.

No Change Expected for Hazlewood

 KXAN Austin reports the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision, keeping Hazlewood Act restricted to veterans who enlisted in Texas. SCOTUS rules based on the stand taht Texas has the irght to regulate their education system. 

As the 85th Legislature beings, there is no hint our lawmakers will decide to modify the Legacy Component of Hazlewood, leaving it an unfunded mandate affecting not only tuition costs for all students, but overall university budgets as well.

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