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Governmental Relations

Legislative Update - Friday, March 25, 2011

Appropriations Committee Adopts HB 1

The House version of the state budget bill, HB 1, was reported favorably out of the Appropriations Committee by a vote of 18 – 7.  The general revenue budget is $77.6 billion, a cut of $4.48 billion from current biennium, all funds budget is $164.5 billion, a cut of $23 billion.  HB 1 restores funding to the previously unfunded four community colleges and restores funding for the Texas Education Opportunity Grant at current funding levels.  HB 1 is expected to be heard on the House floor next Friday, April 1.  A report from the Legislative Budget Board set off a small firestorm Thursday, March 24, when it projected that proposed House budget would leave the state with 335,000 fewer jobs in the public and private sectors than if state expenditures stayed the same over the next two years.

SB 945 – Credit Transfer for Associate Degrees Approved by Senate

SB 945 was approved by the full Senate on March 24.  This bill allows four year universities to receive permission from community college transfer students who have earned 90 credit hours to contact the community college for review of the students transcript to determine the awarding of an Associate degree.

HB 1497 – Allocation of Career and Technical Education Funds

HB 1497 was heard in the Higher Education Committee on Wednesday, March 23.  After THECB calculations of student utilization of approved Career and Technology Education programs, the original bill would provide for a 50/50 split of federal Perkins funds between school districts and community colleges.  The committee substitute for HB 1497 provides for a 40% community college and 60% school district split.  HB 1497 was left pending.

Leo Zuniga
Associate Vice Chancellor of Communications