Governmental Affairs > Legislative Update > April 28, 2017 (Vol. 6, Issue 15)

April 28, 2017 (Vol. 6, Issue 15)

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DCCCD Legislative Update
April 28, 2017Volume 6 Issue 15

This Edition

  • BAS, BAT, BSN – The Remix
  • TX Lege Download
  • Bills to Watch
  • Yes! Congress Is Back! 
  • Finis – Go Vote 

BAS, BAT, BSN - The Remix

Last week, the Senate Higher Education committee passed SB 2118, filed by state Sen. Kel Seliger, chairman of that committee. SB 2118 would allow community colleges to offer baccalaureate degree programs in the fields of applied science, applied technology and nursing. On Thursday, the House Higher Education committee met to discuss a similar bill, HB 4092, filed by Rep. Sarah Davis – it’s the companion bill to SB 2118. 

So…what’s a companion bill? The Texas House states that a companion bill is this: “A bill filed in one chamber that is identical or very similar to a bill filed in the opposite chamber. Companion bills are used to expedite passage as they provide a means for committee consideration of a measure to occur in both houses simultaneously. A companion bill that has passed one house can then be substituted for the companion bill in the second house.” 

Additionally, we are thankful that state Rep. J.M. Lozano, chairman of the House Higher Education committee, added HB 971, by Rep. Helen Giddings of Dallas, to Thursday’s hearing. HB 971 is bracketed for Dallas County and would allow DCCCD to offer a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. Our chancellor, Dr. Joe May, testified in favor of HB 971, along with individuals from Commit!, plus the Dallas Independent School District and Grand Prairie ISD.

Chancellor Joe May testifies Thursday evening before the House Higher Education Committee in support of Rep. Helen Giddings’ bill, HB 971. 

Chancellor Joe May (far right) with Dallas Rep. Roberto Alonzo (second from left) and Rep. Helen Giddings (third from left) and with representatives from Dallas ISD (left to right), Commit! and Grand Prairie ISD. 

On Tuesday, Chancellor May and Dr. Justin Lonon, the district’s executive vice chancellor, met Dr. Raymund Paredes, commissioner of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and members of his staff, Dr. Rex Peebles, Dr. David Gardner, John Wyatt and Lizette Montiel. LaJuana Barton, Sen. Royce West’s chief of staff, participated by conference call. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the potential of a bachelor’s degree offered by DCCCD and the impact of HB 971, HB 4092 and SB 2118.

TX Lege Download

Grab your latte, or drink of choice, and begin the download. 

  • Some folks call it the “Show me your papers” or “Sanctuary Cities” bill. This week, the House debated SB 4, which would penalize law enforcement agencies if they do not enforce immigration laws. The Senate passed the bill in February. Many opponents claim it’s an unfunded mandate, and several police or sheriff’s departments oppose the bill. Read more here: Texas Tribune, Midland Telegram Reporter, The Daily Texan
  • Show me the money! Not quite yet, but on Monday, the Conference Committee on SB 1 assembled for an organizational meeting. The 10-member committee will work to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget bill. The Senate conferees for SB 1 are Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), the chairman, and Sens. Juan Hinojosa (D-McAllen), Joan Huffman (R-Houston), Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) and Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown). The House conferees are Rep. John Zerwas (R-Richmond), the      chairman, and Reps. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin), Sarah Davis (R-Harris), Larry Gonzales (R-Round Rock) and Oscar Longoria (D-Mission). The first meeting was cordial, but clearly a difference in opinion exists on funding the state. Find more details in the Texas Tribune, San Antonio Express News, Houston Chronicle.
  • Let’s talk franchise. Not about any of the potential franchise players selected in yesterday’s NFL draft, but the franchise tax. The budget is tight, but House members believe good times are coming, and the state should prepare to celebrate – by cutting the franchise tax. Here are two stories: Austin American Statesman, The Oklahoman.
  • Last year, on July 7, the City of Dallas, the Dallas Police Department, DART Transit Police and DCCCD’s El Centro College witnessed a terrible tragedy. This week, Dallas Rep. Morgan Meyer’s HB 3042 passed the Texas House. It designates July 7 as Fallen Law Enforcement Officer Day. 

The House will reconvene on Monday, May 1, at 2 p.m. The Senate will reconvene the same day at 1 p.m.

Yes! Congress Is Back!

Tomorrow marks 100 days of President Donald Trump’s administration, which the news media is covering: CNN, Denver Post, NBC News, Fox News, Business Insider

Is the federal government open for business? Maybe for a week. Congress returned to Washington, D.C., and had one week to fund the government before it shuts down. Leaders are saying they will pass a one-week fix. It’s like a break-up: “Just give me more time.” Read all about it here: Roll Call, CNBC, The Hill

Bills to Watch 

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
    • HB 971 was heard in committee on April 27th, it was left pending.
    • 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, April 27th, the committee substitute was voted of committee.
    • 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? 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

Did you know local elections are under way? Elections matter. Go vote in city council and school board races. The individuals you choose will be voting on school programs, neighborhood improvements, safety issues and more. You can vote early today, tomorrow, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Election Day is Saturday, May 6. For a list of early voting locations, click here. You can find more information about voting on Election Day here. Happy voting!  

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