Constitutional Amendment Election

Many interesting constitutional amendments on the November 6 ballot (early voting through Friday this week).

Though TACT does not have a position on the 16 propositions, the first two deal with higher education and deserve your attention.  The first one moves Angelo State University from the Texas State University System to the Texas Tech University System.  The second one provides $500 million in general obligation bonds for student financial aid loans - money which will find its way to the campus budgets.

Please vote.


Legislative Board Agrees to Restore Money to Health Care Expenses

The Legislative Budget Board, a.k.a., Governor, Lt. Governor and House Speaker, have forged an agreement to restore more than $150 million - previously vetoed - to community colleges for health care expenses.  The debate during the last session, called proportionality, hinges on whether the state should pay faculty benefit expenses relative to the percent of salaries that are funded by non-state revenues.

To a lesser extent, the issue had the potential to spill over to four-year universities.

Representative Lois Kolkhorst named "Legislator of the Year"

State Representative Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) has been named by the TACT State Board as the organization's "Legislator of the Year" for her accomplishments and leadership during the 80th Legislative Session.

Appropriations Conference Committee Meeting

The final version of the state budget for the next two years is currently in the hands of five senators and five house members.

New Developments for Incentive Funding Bill

Last Monday's First Alert outlined components of Representative Morrison's HB 3828 on institutional performance incentive funding.  It includes a matrix for additional funding to reward legislative priorities, such as degrees by at-risk students and high-demand professions including nursing and technical degrees.  This morning, the companion bill, SB 1029 by Senate Education Committee Chair Florence Shapiro, was heard in the Senate Subcommittee on Higher Education.

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