84th Texas Legislature
The 84th Texas Legislative Session convened Tuesday, Jan. 13, and meets for 140 consecutive days to make key decisions affecting a number of areas, including Texas public higher education.
As is the case with each session, representatives of the Texas Tech University System will be closely monitoring the proceedings while vigorously looking after the system’s and its four universities' interests.
The Texas Tech University System has a handful of legislative priorities for the coming session, including:
- Formula Funding
- This is viewed as the most critical source of state revenue with funding primarily disbursed based on student enrollments. The legislature increased formula funding during its 2013 session, but the current rate is less than previously funded higher rates.
- Higher Education Fund (HEF) Support
- HEF funds are a crucial source of consistent and predictable funding for infrastructure projects at HEF schools. These funds allow HEF schools to maintain aging facilities and address life safety issues. The TTU System supports the THECB recommended methodology to update the allocation of the HEF funds and the $131.25 million increase to the HEF.
- Hazlewood Act
- This legislation provides qualified veterans, spouses and dependent children with up to 150 hours of tuition exemption, including most fees, at public institutions of higher education in Texas. Fund the Hazlewood Legacy exemptions costs that result in foregone revenue to all state institutions. The total cost to subsidizing state institutions and students in FY 2014 was $111 million.
- Research Support
- Support the Texas Research Incentive Program (TRIP), Competitive Knowledge Fund, Research Development Fund and Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).
- Capital Facilities
- Authorize and fund priority capital facilities projects for each campus that are needed to manage the increasing enrollment growth and research efforts, but are also critical to maintain accreditation and meet life safety standards.
About the Texas Tech University System
The Texas Tech University System is one of the top public university systems in the nation, consisting of four component institutions—Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Angelo State University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso—and operating at 12 academic sites and centers. Headquartered in Lubbock, Texas, the Texas Tech University System has an annual operating budget of $1.7 billion and approximately 17,000 employees focused on advancing higher education, health care, research and outreach.
In 2014, the Texas Tech University System’s endowment exceeded $1 billion, total research expenditures were approximately $200 million and total enrollment approached 47,000 students. Whether it’s contributing billions of dollars annually in economic impact or being the only system in Texas to house an academic institution, law school, and health institution at the same location, the Texas Tech University System continues to prove that anything is possible.