Archives > 2017 Legislative Updates > Feb. 24, 2017 (Volume 6, Issue 7)

Feb. 24, 2017 (Volume 6, Issue 7)

Committees Are In Full Swing

What a difference a committee meeting makes! This week, the House and Senate Higher Education committees met and engaged in serious discussions that will have an impact on higher education in the state. The Senate committee, after a lively conversation, passed SB 18 which eliminates provisions that require public institutions of higher education to set aside portions of designated tuition for student financial assistance. In the House, committee members heard sole testimony from Dr. Raymund Paredes, commissioner of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating. The commissioner emphasized the importance of earning a postsecondary degree for all Texans. You can watch the Senate Committee and the House Committee online.

Commissioner Raymund Paredes testifies before members of the House Higher Education Committee.

Additionally, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Article 3 met on Monday to consider community college funding. Jacob Fraire, president and CEO of the Texas Association of Community Colleges, spoke on behalf of the state’s two-year institutions. Dr. Johnette McKown, president of McLennan Community College and TACC’s chair, also testified and discussed the importance of Small Business Development Centers funding; she specifically mentioned the Dallas County Community College District in her comments.

The subcommittee’s vice chair is state Rep. Helen Giddings, who is a member of the Dallas delegation. View the meeting.

TACC’s president and CEO, Jacob Fraire, testifies before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Article 3.

Both the Senate and House of Representatives are adjourned until 2 p.m. on Monday, February 27.

Important Issues 

Listed below are bills of importance to DCCCD. We will track these and other bills that may have an impact on our district during the legislative session. You can view those House and Senate bills by visiting our site

  • Funding for community colleges
    • We are seeking $1.834 billion in general revenue for core operations, student success and instruction for community colleges.
    • Our community colleges have grown 62 percent since 2000.
  • Early childhood education: Sen. West, SB 534; Rep. Giddings, HB 971
    • SB 534 has been referred to Higher Education Committee.
    • The Dallas County job market is experiencing a shortage of more than 4,000 early childhood educators.
    • The bill will offer the choice of a quality, affordable bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.
    • It supports the governor’s mission of a quality pre-kindergarten
    • This goal can be achieved without adding a fiscal cost for the state.
  • Workforce development: “Recruit Texas” Rep. Alvarado, HB 108
    • HB 108 has been referred to the Economic and Small Business Development Meeting.
    • We want to ensure that Texas remains competitive and is the #1 place for economic development and workforce training.
    • “Recruit Texas” redirects current funds within the Texas Workforce Commission.
    • The program can include assessment, employee recruitment, safety training and leadership development.
  • Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)
    • For every $1 invested in TX SBDC, $5.85 in tax revenue is generated.
    • Statewide there are four SBDC lead offices, one is housed at the Dallas County Community College District.
    • SBDC conducts research, counsels and trains business people in managing, financing and operating small businesses.
    • SBDC plays a pivotal role in driving the Texas economy by creating jobs and generating revenue for the state. We believe in keeping the Texas economy strong by funding SBDC. 

As always, please feel free to contact our office with any questions. 

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