This Week in Texas: Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Posted August 3, 2016 in The Mignon Memo

Campus carry goes into effect.


As of August 1st, those holding a concealed handgun license (CHL) may carry guns on all public university campuses in Texas. Campus zones excluded from carry laws include sports arenas, research labs, and daycare facilities. Campus safety officials have emphasized that the new policy permits concealed carry, not open carry, meaning that guns should not be visible to others on campus.

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Panel rescinds recommendation to replace STAAR.


At its final meeting, the Commission on Next Generation Assessment, a special panel tasked with recommending improvements to Texas’ testing and school accountability, struck language in its draft report that would’ve called for periodic, computer-based testing to replace STAAR exams. This shift comes a month before the panel’s final report is due to legislators and Governor Abbott on September 1st.

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Federal law aims to increase funding to state addiction programs.


The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, recently signed into law by the President, represents a bipartisan effort to curtail opioid prescription drug and heroin addiction. Texas Senator John Cornyn has been a vocal cosponsor of the bill, as Texas opioid deaths have risen 80% in the past two decades. Addiction programs across the state are eager for a bump in federal funding soon.

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Big XII getting a little bigger?


Just when everyone thought Big XII expansion was off the table, a unanimous vote by current Big XII schools has called for a reconsideration of expansion. BYU, UConn, Central Florida, Cincinnati, and Memphis are all in the running for addition to the conference but Gov. Abbott, UT’s President Fenves, and others have voiced support for adding the University of Houston.

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Only in Austin…

Tower garden

August 1st marked the 50th anniversary of the tragic, 1966 shooting that took place in the heart of UT’s campus. Survivors, Austin leaders, and members of the campus community gathered to commemorate victims and rededicate the Tower Garden, located just north of UT’s iconic tower. The Tower Garden includes a plaque memorializing victims of the shooting.

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