TSUS Official Talks Upcoming Legislative Session

Tuesday [Jan. 13] marked the beginning of the 84th Texas Legislature. Mike Wintenute, associate vice chancellor for governmental relations at Texas State University System, spoke with The Houstonian [Wed. Jan. 14] about the goals which the system hopes the legislature will accomplish, which include benefits for TSUS as well as Sam Houston State University:

"Formula funding is a primary source of funding for higher education by the state, and we’re asking that formula funding rates for higher education be restored to their 2011 levels.

“In recent years, the formula’s rates have been reduced, as a result of declining state revenue, and so we’re asking that our formula rates be restored to the 2011 levels so they can address our growth and the growth of our institutions. This would also reduce pressure on student tuition and fees. Generally speaking, the more state funding you get, the less student tuition and fees have to make up for it.

"There is a belief out there that when a school has to rely on tuition revenue bonding to build a facility, that it is paid for by student tuition, and that is not the case. A tuition and revenue bond is just like any other bond, the difference is the banks or lenders, require you to secure a loan, like a mortgage, so because tuition is a primary source of revenue for a school, they use the expected tuition from students to collateralize the loan. That’s the only way tuition plays into tuition revenue bonds.”

"Sam Houston State’s project that we hoped to see included in the PRB Bill is a biology and lab building. The price tag for that would be $60 million, so that was the facility that SHSU identified as its top priority to be included in the PRB bill. We’re hopeful the legislature will be able to do this year what it wasn’t able to do two years ago by approving a PRB bill and helping our institutions catch up with growth."

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