Hazlewood Act Scrutinized by House Committee

For several years, the TACT Legislative Agenda has included an item to reduce the unfunded mandate of the Hazlewood Act – free tuition for Texas veterans. Since 2009, a Legacy component allows those benefits to be passed to the vets children, and the cost to universities is growing every year.

TACT’s position is for the Legislature to either fund the program or make changes to lessen the costs to universities.

Last session, a bill passed the Senate which would reduce the Legacy component but did not survive the House. This year, TACT has been working with the Chair of the House Committee on Higher Education to reduce costs, and yesterday his committee heard two other bills with the same goal. Representatives Rick Miller and Matt Schaefer have bills that would reduce costs in future years and require data reporting to the Texas Veterans Commission. Veterans testified that this promised program is part of their compensation. Some committee members suggested not giving up on full funding of the program, but that has not happened and doesn’t look likely this year in a tight budget environment.

To take action, contact your legislators and members of the House and Senate Committees on Higher Education to say that this unfunded mandate is particularly unaffordable in a biennium in which university funding is proposed to be reduced.

To support this effort and be covered by EPLI, click HERE. For membership information click TACT Membership Benefits.

Want to stay up-to-date on proposed bills for the 85th Legislative Session? You can do so by visiting the TACT Legislative Bill Tracker:
http://www.tact.org/legislative