Governmental Affairs > Legislative Update > April 13, 2017 (Vol. 6, Issue 13)

April 13, 2017 (Vol. 6, Issue 13)

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DCCCD Legislative Update
April 13, 2017Volume 6 Issue 13

This Edition

  • The Budget
  • Finis 

The Budget

It’s a short week in Austin – both chambers will observe Good Friday, as will the Capitol Update team. In this edition, we’ll share documents and information about the proposed House and Senate budgets, as we promised last week. 

First, let’s hop in our DeLorean and go back in time. During the 84th legislative session in 2015, HB 1 (general appropriations) provided funding for the 2016-17 biennium. Community college funding falls under Article 3. Overall, $1.745 billion in instructional funds was allocated for all of our state’s two-year colleges; that figure included $50 million in core operations, $169.2 million in success points and $1.52 billion in contact-hour funding. In 2015, the House bill was the lead appropriations bill. Following tradition, this year the Senate bill will be the lead appropriations bill. In 2015, DCCCD was appropriated a total of $170,455,213. This amount does not reflect special-items funding like Starlink and Small Business Development Centers.   

This year, during the 85th legislative session, both chambers have passed their versions of an “ideal” 2018-2019 biennium budget. How much are they spending and where is it going? For a Senate summary, please click here. For a House summary, please look here. In response to 2018-2019 instructional funding for community colleges, the Senate version appropriates $1.779 billion; the House budget appropriates $1.755 billion. 

First, here’s what the House budget means for our district: biennium instructional funds allocated for DCCCD total $172,064,027. The House budget also allocates funding for Starlink ($585,876) and Small Business Development Centers ($3,270,770), for a grand total of $175,920,673. 

In the Senate version, biennium instructional funds allocated for DCCCD total $176,085,148. The budget allocates money for core operations, student success and contact-hour funding. The Senate budget added dollars for instructional funding, but it does not appropriate dollars specifically for special items such as Starlink or Small Business Development Centers. 

It’s important to note that the House budget taps into $2.5 billion of the Economic Stabilization Fund, better known as the Rainy Day Fund. The Senate budget does not touch the Rainy Day Fund, and it’s very likely there will be opposition from the Senate to do that. 

The next step is for both the House and Senate to resolves their differences. Each chamber will appoint members to a conference committee. The conferees will work to produce a final version of the budget bill that will be submitted to the House and Senate. Next week, we should learn who the conferees will be. We will post more information as it becomes available. 

Related links:

The Texas Budget Process: A Primer

Legislative Budget Board

Writing the State Budget 

Related articles:

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar pitches Rainy Day Fund overhaul (Texas Tribune)

Texas budget wish list: Big dreams, low expectations (Dallas Morning News)

Texas House approves its budget plan 131-16 after 15 hours of debate (Houston Chronicle)

The Bills

Listed below are bills of importance to DCCCD. We 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
    • On Thursday, March 23rd, it was heard in committee and left pending.
    • 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. 

Interested in learning more about other bills?...for example, the status of the Employees Retirement System of Texas and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, SB 1750 and SB 1751? (Spoiler alert! So far, both bills have not been scheduled yet for a committee hearing.)  Visit our legislative bill tracker to learn the status of several bills. 

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

Finis

Tomorrow we are “officially” closed. Have fun, be safe and remember the tax deadline is upon us. Enough said!

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