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Steve Johnson's Monday Morning Message 11 May 2015
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Author:  Ben Stafford [ Mon May 11, 2015 11:05 am ]
Post subject:  Steve Johnson's Monday Morning Message 11 May 2015

Monday Morning Message


Budget

The Conference Committee has broken into smaller groups to go through the separate Articles of the state budget in an effort to resolve the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. Working on Article III (Education) are Senator Lois Kolkhorst and Representative Trent Ashby. At this point in the process, the deliberations between conferees are not public. We expect the full committee to potentially come together at some point this week to announce any completed budget decisions.


Common Course Numbering

HB 61 by Representative Ruth Jones McClendon was voted out of the House Higher Education Committee last week and is now scheduled to be heard on the House floor on Wednesday of this week. The Senate version, SB 1770 by Senator Larry Taylor, has yet to be heard in Senate Higher Education.


Baccalaureate Expansion at Community Colleges

HB 1384 by Representative Sarah Davis was voted out of House Higher Education last week as substituted. The new language would limit the expansion of baccalaureate degrees to only the Bachelors of Nursing (BSN) - the original bill was not limited to nursing. The Senate version of this bill, SB 271 by Senator Rodney Ellis, is still pending in Senate Higher Education.

Two other bills that provide institution specific baccalaureate expansion are advancing through the process. HB 3348 by Representative Travis Clardy (Senate sponsor is Senator Kevin Eltife) would allow Tyler Junior College to offer a baccalaureate degree in Dental Hygiene. This bill was voted out of the House last week and is moving on to the Senate. HB 3836 by Representative Helen Giddings (Senate sponsor is Senator Royce West) would allow the Dallas County Community College District to offer a baccalaureate degree in Early Childhood Education. This bill was voted out of House Higher Education and is on the Calendar for full House consideration on Tuesday of this week.


Campus Carry

Last week there were media reports that there could possibly be an effort to amend HB 910 by Representative Larry Phillips (Open Carry legislation) with the provisions of HB 937 / SB 11 (Campus Carry legislation). Currently, HB 910 is in Senate State Affairs and has yet to have a hearing. Several legislators responded to the news stories by saying that no such deal had been made at this point. We will continue to monitor this important legislation.


Block Scheduling

HB 1583 by Representative Travis Clardy is in Senate Higher Education but has yet to be set for a public hearing. The bill would require community colleges to offer a block scheduling option for at least 50% of Career and Technology programs and all nursing & allied health programs. We continue to monitor the legislation and are prepared to testify if the bill is posted for a hearing in committee.

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