The Briefing Room

The Briefing Room

Welcome to the Briefing Room. This page is intended to provide UT Advocates with periodic updates on the Texas Exes’ legislative priorities, as well as other bills of interest relating to the University of Texas at Austin and higher education.

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Budget Conferees Named

Though the upper and lower chambers individual proposals don’t seem all that different from a total spending standpoint, the ways in which they arrived at those numbers varies greatly. The Senate passed a measure to delay payment from the state’s highway fund, while the House agreed to tap into the Rainy Day Fund. The Texas Tribune has created a handy tool to compare both budget proposals here.

Update on Senate Bill 822

Senate Bill 822 (Estes) recently passed the full Senate and was sent to the House for referral to a committee. This bill would transfer property gifted to UT-Austin to benefit students to another state agency without compensation. This proposal would also deny UT-Austin the opportunity to generate income from the land to help students, all while the state drastically reduces financial support for the university. 

Budget Talking Points

85th Texas Legislative Session
  • Tier one research universities are engines that power the Texas economy. They benefit all Texans, not just students and employees.
  • The proposed Senate budget cuts UT-Austin appropriations for core academic funding and special items by 10%, which is roughly $48 million.
    • The proposal has moved funding for some special items into grants through the AUF, rather than state appropriations. This is a bad precedent to set, because it lowers the state’s long term investment in higher education.

Important Information on the Budget of UT-Austin

85th Texas Legislative Session

Alumni and friends of the University of Texas, our university could face harder times as the Legislature considers the budget for the next two years.

UT-Austin is poised to take another cut based on the currently proposed Senate budget. This proposal will hurt the university’s ability to educate students, deliver cutting-edge research, and innovate for the people and businesses of our great state.

Important Civic Dates to Note

85th Texas Legislative Session

The March primary season is already here. It is important for members, alumni, and UT Advocates to have their calendars updated with relevant dates. Please see below for the latest details on getting ready to vote. 

Updates from the 84th Legislative Session

84th Texas Legislative Session

Base Funding

Chairman Zerwas introduced HB 1000, which relates to state support for general academic teaching institutions.  It was voted favorably from the House Higher Education Committee last Wednesday.