87th Legislative Session Outcomes and Overview
Posted June 9, 2021
The Texas Exes is grateful for the support of the advocates who worked to strengthen Texas higher education. Your engagement made a difference! Initial budget decisions did not include funding for student enrollment growth, but calls and emails from our alumni and supporters helped reverse what could have been a very detrimental decision.
Happy Sine Die!
This past Memorial Day marked the end of the 87th Legislative Session, and while the House and Senate both adjourned, we anticipate they will be back for a special session or two.
Below is a breakdown of outcomes for the Texas Exes legislative priorities and a few other key issues. UT Austin’s total general revenue appropriation for the 2022-23 biennium is $647.6M, which is an estimated increase of more than 4 percent over last biennium.
Research conducted at UT Austin enhances the quality of life for all Texans while allowing students opportunities to gain practical skills and real-world experiences.
We asked the legislature to ...
- Increase the Texas Research University Fund (TRUF) to 11 percent of research expenditure to provide a larger investment in research aimed at solving challenges facing Texas.
- Maintain funding for the Governor’s University Research Initiative (GURI) to support UT Austin’s efforts to recruit distinguished faculty who provide innovative classroom instruction.
- While the legislature did not increase the TRUF to an 11 percent match rate, UT Austin’s TRUF allocation increased by $2M, with a total appropriation of $66M for the biennium.
- The GURI funding was maintained at current levels.
State formula funding comprises a significant part of the state’s financial support for UT Austin’s core academic mission: educating students.
We asked the legislature to ...
- Continue investing in UT Austin by enhancing current (FY20-21) funding levels for the formulas to fully account for enrollment growth rates.
- Maintain the current biennium level of $40M and add an additional $20M in Institutional Enhancement funding to the university (FY22-23) for student success initiatives, core academic support and operations, and cutting-edge faculty research.
- Late in the session, as a result of advocate engagement, the Legislature funded student enrollment growth, and UT Austin will see an increase of $27.5M for the upcoming biennium. Additionally, Dell Medical School will see a $6.4M increase in formula funding.
- Unfortunately, the legislature did not provide an additional $20M in Institutional Enhancement funding but did maintain the current biennium level of funding.
Student financial aid was increased by an additional $110M for several financial aid programs, including Texas Grants.
Graduate medical education expansion appropriations totaled $199M for the biennium. This includes an additional $48M to achieve a 1.1 to 1 ratio of first year residency positions to medical school graduates.
Funding was appropriated for The Liberty Institute. This new and unaffiliated institute on the UT campus will be dedicated to free markets, economic development, and private enterprise.
The legislature did not fund an omnibus capital improvement projects bill. Members indicated this could be a possibility during a special session, and UT will likely request funding to renovate the Physics, Math, & Astronomy Building.