The Texas House approved its first non-appropriations bill of the session. House Bill 1000 by Rep. Rene Oliveira will set up a new university in South Texas under the governance, management, and control of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System. The new university, which will be supported by the Permanent University Fund, will replace UT-Brownsville and UT-Pan American. House Bill 1000 now moves to the Texas Senate for further action.
The Texas Senate passed its version of the state budget for the next biennium. Senate Bill One, the $195.5 billion budget for 2014-2015 passed on a vote of 29-2 with Senators Wendy Davis (D-Ft. Worth) and Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston) voting No.
Gov. Rick Perry has appointed three members to the Texas A&M University Board of Regents for terms to expire Feb. 1, 2019. The two new regents are Tony Buzbee, an attorney from Friendswood; and Charles Schwartz of Houston, a partner and office leader of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP. Perry reappointed Morris Foster of Austin, who has served as a member of the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents since his appointment in 2007, and was chairman of the board from 2009 to 2011.
We are feeling March Madness here in Austin. Not only are we halfway through the 83rd Legislative Session, but for the first time since 1977, there is not a single team from Texas in the 68 team field for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Maybe catching some of the 2nd and 3rd round regional games here at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin will ease our pain.