May 6, 2011
Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst have created a new Joint Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence, and Transparency. It will be chaired by Senate Higher Education Chairwoman Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, and House Higher Education Chairman Dan Branch, R-Dallas.
The members from the Senate will include Dallas Republican John Carona, Lubbock Republican Robert Duncan, Amarillo Republican Kel Seliger, Houston DemocratRodney Ellis and Austin Democrat Kirk Watson.
May 7, 2011
Rep. Branch threw out the first pitch as the Texas Rangers hosted the New York Yankees. After throwing out the pitch, Rep. Branch presented the baseball to Woodrow Wilson High School's "Teacher of the Year" Brook Varner.
May 30, 2011
Christopher Smith Gonzalez
AUSTIN --The system is meant to kill legislation.
That's the old line often heard around the Capitol.
And now as the session's end slams the coffin door on a slew of bills, more than a few lawmakers are taking solace in the fact that their dead legislation has plenty of company.
Top on the list of bills that didn't make it across the finish line is, of course, Senate Bill 1811, a broad fiscal proposal that had public school financing tacked on to it. Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, killed it with a filibuster, but school financing has to be addressed and will be taken up in a special session.
May 30, 2011
AUSTIN - The road is clear for Texas Tech University to get national research institution status in two years or even sooner if the school meets the criteria for the prestigious designation, commonly called tier one.
The Texas Senate last week gave final approval to a House bill that will make it possible.
"It is kind of the final piece of the puzzle on how we start getting more Tier One, or national research universities, from the state," Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, said after he and his colleagues passed without objection House Bill 1000 by Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas.
May 29, 2011
Several House members - including Dallas Republicans Dan Branch and Will Hartnett - objected to a provision in a gun bill that bans sending texts and reading texts while driving across the whole state.
The bill passed 80-61 and now heads to the governor, but not before a protracted fight that raised the ire ofDemocrat Sylvester Turner - who pointed out that while the House limited debate on an important school finance bill earlier tonight, they spent about 40 minutes discussing the texting ban.
"I'm trying to figure out where the priority of this House is," he said.
HOUSE BILL 9 HEADED TO THE GOVERNOR
The "Higher Education Outcomes-Based Funding Act" Will, for the First Time,
Tie a Portion of College Funding to Graduations
(Austin, TX) -- Earlier today, the Texas Legislature sent House Bill 9, The Higher Education Outcomes-Based Funding Act, to the Governor's desk. This landmark legislation incorporates, for the first time, graduations and other student outcomes into the main formula funding mechanisms for public colleges and universities in Texas.
May 25, 2011
AUSTIN - The road is clear for Texas Tech to get national research institution status in two years or even sooner if the school meets the criteria for the prestigious designation, commonly called tier one.
The Texas Senate on Wednesday gave final approval to a House bill that will make this possible.
"It is kind of the final piece of the puzzle on how we start getting more tier-one, or, national research universities from the state," Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, said after he and his colleagues passed without objection House Bill 1000 by Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas.
May 25, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas — Texas lawmakers met behind closed doors Wednesday to hammer out a new school financing law as time was running out for the 2011 legislative session.
House and Senate members were trying to reach an agreement on how to cut $4 billion from public education funding, the first cut in school spending since at least World War II.
Late Wednesday, House Speaker Joe Strauss, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and the House and Senate conference committee members met in Strauss' office to work out a deal. Afterward, all parties said negotiations would continue, possibly until Friday's deadline.
May 25, 2011
After hitting a brief snag, the bill that creates a mechanism for the leaders in the race to become the state's next tier-one university passed the state Senate today.
Seven institutions that are designated as "emerging research universities" — University of Houston, Texas Tech University, University of North Texas, and the University of Texas campuses in Dallas, Arlington, El Paso and San Antonio — have been competing to be designated the state's next "national research university." Currently, that group includes just three universities: the University of Texas, Texas A&M University and Rice University.
May 26, 2011
It could become a reality for students to graduate from the University of Houston's Sugar Land and Cinco Ranch campuses as Aggies if proponents are successful in pursuing a Texas A&M takeover of the UH learning complexes.
State Rep. Geanie Morrison, R-Victoria, has been pushing for transferring the University of Houston-Victoria and its Sugar Land and Cinco Ranch teaching centers to the Texas A&M University System.