Finance, Tuition, and Financial Aid Related Related Legislation »

HB 101 by Brown, Fred / Uresti - Relating to the formula funding for public institutions of higher education for certain credit hours that do not count toward a degree. HB 101 modifies the existing statute (61.0595) that eliminates state formula funding for certain excess credit hours. The current statute limits funding per student to 30 credit hours beyond the number needed for the student's degree, but includes exceptions for remedial hours and hours earned through examinations. HB 101 adds an exception for courses that do not count toward "the student's specific degree program" at an institution to include those hours earned while still in high school. HB 101 would reduce the number of students who get to the funding limit before completing baccalaureate degrees. Students will be the beneficiaries of this change, in particular are those students who transfer to universities with large numbers of hours or those students who change majors.

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HB 103 by Brown, F./Patrick - Relating to health benefit plans for students at institutions of higher education and the operation of certain health benefit plans through student health centers at certain institutions of higher education. The bill would require general academic teaching institutions with a total student enrollment of more than 20,000 students in one or more semesters of the preceding academic year to offer at least one "high deductible" health benefit plan to students. This section takes effect Fall 2010.

Another provision of HB 103 mandates that a student health center of an institution of higher education with a total student enrollment of more than 20,000 students in one or more semesters of the preceding academic year would be required to assist students by filing or having a claim filed with the health benefit plan issuer on their behalf. An institution of higher education could contract with a health benefit plan issuer to provide health care services under the plan to students.

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HB 518 by Kolkhorst / Van de Putte - Relating to programs to provide student loan repayment assistance for certain correctional officers, for certain speech-language pathologists and audiologists, and for certain mathematics and science teachers. The bill creates programs to provide student loan repayment assistance for certain correctional officers and for certain speech-language pathologists and audiologists. HB 518 also creates the Texas Teach Corps Student Loan Repayment Program Assistance Program for undergraduate students who agree to teach in school districts that have shortages of teachers in mathematics or science. The student loan repayment program for speech-language pathologists and audiologists will create an incentive for licensed speech-language pathologists and audiologists to remain employed in public schools or seek employment in the public school system.

HB 1736 by Anchia / Duncan - Relating to compensation of and services to persons wrongfully imprisoned. HB 1736 amends Chapter 103 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code relating to the

administration of wrongful imprisonment compensation to certain persons. The bill eliminates a

person's right to file suit for compensation for wrongful imprisonment, and allows for the person, or

the person's heirs, legal representatives, and estate if the person is deceased, to seek compensation by

filing an application with the Comptroller. In addition, claimants would also be entitled to 120 hours of state-paid tuition and mandatory fees at a career center, community college, or state university if requested by a claimant before the seventh anniversary of the date the claimant received a pardon or was granted relief.

HB 2013 by Keffer / Hegar - Relating to tuition and laboratory fee exemptions at public institutions of higher education for certain volunteer firefighters enrolled in fire science courses. HB 2013 extends the exemption program for firefighters enrolled in fire science curricula to include volunteer firefighters who hold an Accredited Advanced level of certification or an equivalent credential under the State Firemen's and Fire Marshall's Association of Texas volunteer certification program or a phase V certification or equivalent successor certification under the Texas Commission on Fire Protection's voluntary certification program. Note: Students enrolled in homeland security programs offered by Texas A&M have been ruled eligible for this exemption under the current statute.

HB 2154 by Edwards / Hinojosa - Relating to the physician education loan repayment program. HB 2154 amends the Government Code and Education Code to create, using revenue from a tax imposed on certain tobacco products, a dedicated source of revenue for the physician education loan repayment program account. The physician education loan repayment program is administered by the Higher Education Coordinating Board and recruits and retains physicians in health professional shortage areas. The Coordinating Board will electronically deliver payment directly to the lender on behalf of the physician. The bill also establishes maximum amounts of repayment assistance for eligible physicians based on their length of participation in the program. For the first year they would be eligible to receive$25,000; for the second, $35,000; for the third, $45,000; and $55,000 for the fourth year.

HB 2347 by Thibaut / Whitmire - Relating to tuition and fee exemptions at public institutions of higher education for certain peace officers enrolled in criminal justice or law enforcement course work and for certain educational aides. HB 2347 extends the tuition and laboratory fee exemption program currently for certain firefighters enrolled in fire science curricula to peace officers employed by political subdivisions of the state who enroll in a course or courses offered as part of a criminal justice or law enforcement management related curriculum designed for peace officers. Under provisions of the bill, higher education institutions would certify the eligibility of certain firefighters to receive an exemption from tuition and fees charged by the institutions. Under current law, the Higher Education Coordinating Board makes the determination. These provisions will be implemented within current resources. The governing board of an institution of higher education may not provide exemptions to students enrolled in a specific class in a number that exceeds 20 percent of the maximum student enrollment designated by the institution for that class. Changes in the tuition and laboratory fees would be effective beginning in the 2011 fall semester.

HB 2440 by McCall / Williams - Relating to scholarships for fifth-year accounting students. HB 2440 transfers the authority to administer the funds collected and award the scholarships for the 5th Year Accounting Program from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy (TSBPA).

HB 3353 / SB 2182by Naishtat / Shapleigh - Relating to an environmental service fee at public institutions of higher education. HB 3353 authorizes the governing board of an institution of higher education to charge each student enrolled at the institution an environmental service fee, if the fee has been approved by a majority vote of the students enrolled at the institution who participate in a general student election called for that purpose. The proceeds from the fee are to be used only to provide environmental improvements at the institution through services related to recycling, energy efficiency and renewable energy, transportation, employment, product purchasing, planning and maintenance, or irrigation; or provide matching funds for grants to obtain environmental improvements. The fee shall not exceed $5 per semester or $10 if approved by a student election.

HB 3452 by Gattis / Ogden - Relating to the establishment of the Texas Armed Services Scholarship. HB 3452 establishes the Texas Armed Service Scholarship Program. The new program will be administered by the Higher Education Coordinating Board. Under provisions of the bill, a qualified student could receive an annual conditional scholarship grant available for use at any Texas public or private institution of higher education having a Reserve Officer Training Corps (R.O.T.C.) program, conditioned on certain obligations. The amount of scholarship in each academic year would be the lesser of $15,000 or the amount available for each scholarship from appropriations that may be used

for the scholarships. The Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the members of the Texas Senate, and the members of the Texas House of Representative each individually have the power annually to appoint one recipient of the Armed Service scholarships who possesses the requisite qualifications for the scholarship. In order to fulfill the student's commitments to the Armed Services Scholarship program, the student must: (1) complete four years of ROTC training, and graduate within five years; (2) upon graduation, enter into either a four year commitment to serve as a member of the Texas Army or Air Force National Guard, or a contract to serve as a commissioned officer with any branch of the armed services of the United States; and (3) meet the physical examination requirements and all other pre-screening requirements of the Texas Army. Under provisions of the bill, a recipient of the scholarship who either fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress, withdraws from the scholarship program, or fails to fulfill the student's commitment, for any reason other than a physical inability to meet any of these commitments, all funds advanced to the recipient to that point would become a debt due to the state. The Higher Education Coordinating Board will begin awarding scholarships beginning with the 2010-11 academic year.

HB 4476 by Cohen / Zaffirini - Relating to eligibility requirements for the tuition equalization grant program. HB 4476 amends current law relating to eligibility requirements for the TEG program by correcting inconsistencies between the Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) program and the TEXAS Grant program. TEG recipients will now have the same course load requirement as TEXAS Grant and the same GPA requirements.

SB 43 by Zaffirini / Gonzales-Toureilles - Relating to tuition and fee exemptions at public institutions of higher education for students who have been under the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services. SB 43 extends the current tuition exemptions for students under conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services to include students enrolled in dual credit classes while in high school and allows students to begin using the exemption as late as the day before their 25th birthday.

SB 45 by Zaffirini / Hochberg - Relating to tuition exemptions at public institutions of higher education for students enrolled in certain inter-institutional academic programs. SB 45 allows, but does not require, institutions of higher education to waive tuition for graduate students enrolled in courses connected with interdisciplinary and inter-institutional graduate training programs under a written agreement between both institutions.

SB 93 by Van de Putte / Castro - Relating to tuition and fee exemptions for certain military personnel and their dependents or spouse and permitting those personnel to assign the exemption to a child. SB 93 modifies the Hazlewood Exemption statute which exempts certain military personnel and their dependents from paying tuition and certain fees. The bill clarifies that Texas must be declared the home state of permanent record upon entering the military. The statute will now be known as the Hazelwood Legacy Act.

SB 194 by Shapleigh/Howard D. - Relating to a prohibition against certain activities by a person employed in the financial aid office of a public institution of higher education or of a career school or college. SB 194 prohibits a person employed in the financial aid office of an institution of higher education or a career school or college from owning stock or other ownership interest in a student loan lender, other than through ownership of shares in a publicly traded mutual fund or a similar investment vehicle. The bill also prohibits such a person from soliciting or accepting any gift from a student loan lender.

SB 297 by Van de Putte / Corte - Relating to resident tuition rates at public institutions of higher education for certain veterans and service members and their spouses and children. SB 297 provides resident status for tuition purposes for veterans qualifying for federal veterans benefits, their spouses and their dependents (if under 25 when they initially enroll), provided the veterans file a statement with the university of their intent to establish residency in Texas. Under provisions of the bill, certain veterans, spouses, and children of veterans are entitled to pay tuition and fees at an institution of higher education at the rates provided for Texas residents without regard to the length of time the person has resided in this state.

SB 638 by Nichols / Flynn - Relating to the collateralization of certain public funds. SB 638 establishes a permissive pooled collateral program, provides for the centralization of the collateral function in a pool to be tracked and verified to meet state requirements, and requires the comptroller to be responsible for the implementation of such a program.

SB 1515 by Watson / McCall - Relating to a major events trust fund, a motor sports racing trust fund, and an events trust fund for sporting and non-sporting events. SB 1515 renames the "Other Events Trust Fund;" renames the "Sporting Event Trust Fund;" expands the purpose of the specified funds from sporting or athletic events to sporting or non-sporting games or events; and modifies application and reimbursement procedures for the newly named "Major Events Trust Fund" and "Events Trust Fund." In addition, the bill removes certain population criteria for the Motor Sports Racing Trust Fund and the Events Trust Fund. Currently, the Sporting Event Trust Fund, Motor Sports Racing Trust Fund, and the Other Events Trust Fund assist local governments in recruiting or retaining events that are actively being recruited by other states. The programs authorize a portion of state tax revenue generated by an event to be returned to the city or county that hosted the event to assist in paying expenses incurred in connection with the event.

SB 1798 by Zaffirini / Cohen - Relating to certifying the eligibility of certain educational aides to receive an exemption from tuition and fees charged by public institutions of higher education. SB 1798 requires the institution of higher education to certify the person's eligibility at which an educational aide is seeking an exemption from tuition and fees. This bill also requires the institution to make the determination of eligibility and give notice of its determination to the applicant and to the school district employing the applicant as an educational aide.

SB 1941 by Shapiro / Morrison - Relating to the administration and operation of the state's programs for repaying or saving toward the costs of attending and institution of higher education. SB 1941, beyond some clarification to the statute, has three substantive changes: (1) adds career schools to the Texas Tomorrow Fund II; (2) allows a contract to be established that would allow state employees in the Employee Retirement System of Texas to enroll in the TTF II through their annual enrollment cycle; and (3) allows state employees to contribute to the Texas Save & Match program through the State Employee Charitable Campaign. Texas Save & Match is a program that allows charitable contributions to a fund that is used to match funds invested by low income and other groups to the TTF II program. It already exists, but this would expand the resources available through SECC contributions.

SB 1952 by Jackson, Mike / Weber - Relating to the authorization of certain municipalities and counties to issue public securities for the financing of permanent improvements for use by an institution of higher education. SB 1952 authorizes certain home-rule municipalities and counties to issue public securities for the financing of permanent improvements for use by an institution of higher education.

SB 2240 by Zaffirini / Crownover - Relating to the financing of educational and related facilities by higher education facility authorities or nonprofit corporations performing the functions of those authorities and the governance of higher education facility authorities. SB 2240 amends various sections of the Education Code as it relates to higher education facility authorities for public and private schools. Under provisions of the bill, when bonds are proposed to be issued to benefit an institution of higher education and the records relating to their issuance are submitted to the attorney general, a public higher education authority will be required also to deliver notice of that action to the governor, the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house, and the Legislative Budget Board. The notice must include the amount of the bonds to be issued and a description of the facilities to be financed from the bond proceeds. If the attorney general does not find that bonds to be in accordance with this chapter and constitute valid and binding obligations of the authority, the attorney general may not approve the bonds, and the bonds may not be registered by the comptroller. The bill also amends the definition of "educational facility" and strikes language relating to the facilities' being used exclusively for the conduct of the educational and administrative functions of the institutions, thus including athletic and all other facilities on campus.

SB 2244 by Zaffirini / Branch - Relating to the eligibility of employees of certain businesses or organizations established as part of the state's economic development program and of dependants of those employees to pay resident tuition. SB 2244 sets a time limit within which a business or organization must be established as part of the state's economic development program before the date of an employee's or employee's dependent's enrollment at an institution of higher education for the employee or dependent to be entitled to pay resident tuition at such an institution. The provisions of the bill are applicable beginning with tuition and required fees for the fall 2010 semester.