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Governmental Relations

Legislative Update - Monday, April 25, 2011

Senate Committee Substitute for House Bill 1

The Senate version of the appropriations bill was reported out of committee last week and will now be scheduled to be heard by the full Senate, probably late this week. The Senate version of the appropriations bill includes:

Alamo Colleges formula funding- $66,881,437 each FY 12 and FY 13 (House version is $60,069,983 in FY 12 and $60,069,979 in FY 13)

Community College Outcome Based Funding-  $12,550,920 for FY 13 (incentive funding)

Alternative Teaching Certificate Program at Community Colleges- $801,563 each FY 12 and FY 13

System Administration for Community Colleges- $350,000 for THECB to hire a consultant to provide the Legislative Budget Board and the Governor with a blueprint to establish a state system administration for public community colleges by no later than June 1, 2012. The specific criteria for the consultant’s final product shall be  determined collaboratively by the Legislative Budget Board, Governor and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
 
Community Colleges Employee Group Insurance- $195.3 million biennium total

Key bills reported favorably out of Senate Higher Education Committee

CSSB 1414 – relating to sexual abuse and child molestation training of volunteers and employees of youth camps held at institutions of higher education
 
CSSB 1488- relating to establishing a comprehensive general procurement system for community colleges.
 
CSSB 1727- allows for colleges and universities to charge community colleges students who have an associate degree a tuition rate at the same rate the four year school would have charged the student during the fall semester of the  student’s freshman had the student entered the four year school as a freshman student. According to committee members, the intent of this bill is to increase enrollment in community colleges and incentivize degree completion.     
 
CSSB 1564- makes it explicit that the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has the authority to designate one assessment. The bill mandates institutions to use research-based practices in delivering developmental education; requires institutions to provide professional development programs to faculty and staff serving developmental education students; directs institutions to provide both course-based and non-course-based remediation options when developing an individualized student plan to attain readiness; and eliminates the Texas Success Initiatives exemption for veterans.
 
CSSB 32- relating to the consolidation of all tuition exemptions and waivers into one chapter of the Education Code

Bill of interest to be heard in committee this week

SB 1731- relating to requiring public junior colleges to offer an academic associate degree program designed to transfer in their entirety for course credit in a baccalaureate degree program at a four year school. An academic associate degree program must consist of at least 60 semester credit hours, but not exceed 66 semester credit hours.    

Leo Zuniga
Associate Vice Chancellor of Communications