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85th Texas Legislature

This page is devoted to keeping key stakeholders updated on the happenings of the 85th Texas Legislature as it pertains to higher education generally and Blinn College specifically. Check here periodically for important updates on the 85th Texas Legislative Session. At Blinn, all input is valued and encouraged. Comments or suggestion can be submitted here

State of Texas Senators and Representatives for Blinn College:
District   District  
3 Senator Robert Nichols 14 Representative John Raney
5 Senator Charles Schwertner 16 Representative Will Metcalf
18 Senator Lois W. Kolkhorst 17 Representative John Cyrier
Representative Cecil Bell 18 Representative Ernest Bailes
12 Representative Kyle Kacal 20 Representative Terry Wilson
13 Representative Leighton Schubert 57 Representative Trent Ashby

August 16, 2016

Blinn sets legislative priorities in advance of the 85th Texas Legislative Session

Blinn seeks increased funding for community colleges to strengthen workforce training programs, keep student costs low

In advance of the 85th Texas Legislative Session, Blinn College will ask state lawmakers to provide community colleges the resources to continue offering high-impact academic and career training programs at an affordable rate for students.

Blinn’s Board of Trustees approved six legislative priorities for the College at its regular board meeting Tuesday night in Brenham. Those priorities are:

  1. Blinn supports the state funding goals for community colleges as adopted by the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC) and Community College Association of Texas Trustees (CCATT). This includes increasing core funding for each community college district by $250,000 per year; funding student success points at a minimum of $185 per point; and increasing state funding for community college instruction by $45 million, allowing community colleges to meet workforce skill demands, increase dual credit courses, and expand educational opportunities for all students.
  2. Blinn College supports enhanced policies, programs and associated funding to strengthen the workforce development services and initiatives as adopted by TACC and CCATT.
  3. Blinn College supports an increase in state funding to further Blinn College’s efforts to provide an affordable higher education for all students.
  4. Blinn College is committed to strengthening its business and industry partnerships and to enhancing workforce development in all of its service area.
  5. Blinn College supports additional state funding to offset the rising expenses associated with Hazlewood exemptions.
  6. Blinn College supports maintenance of the existing level of state funding for the operation of the Star of the Republic Museum.

Increased state support would help Blinn and other Texas community colleges meet expanded demand for their services. Texas community colleges have seen an enrollment increase of more than 70 percent since 2000, and 78 percent of students who earn a bachelor’s degree from a Texas university have community college credit on their transcript.

“These priorities are designed to provide adequate support for community colleges across the state,” said Dr. Mary Hensley, District President/CEO. “These funds would allow Texas community colleges to strengthen business partnerships, enhance workforce development, fund expanded programs and services, and ensure that higher education remains affordable for Texas students.”


Bio and Contact Information for Members of the Senate Committee on Higher Education
Senate Committee on Higher Education  
Sen. Kel Seliger, Chair Sen. José Menéndez
Sen. Royce West, Vice Chair Sen. Larry Taylor
Sen. Paul Bettencourt Sen. Kirk Watson
Sen. Dawn Buckingham
Bio and Contact Information for Members of the Senate Committee on Finance
Senate Committee on Finance  
Sen. Jane Nelson, Chair Sen. Charles Schwertner
Sen. Juan Hinojosa, Vice Chair Sen. Kel Seliger
Sen. Paul Bettencourt Sen. Larry Taylor
Sen. Brian Birdwell Sen. Carlos Uresti
Sen. Kelly Hancock Sen. Kirk Watson
Sen. Joan Huffman Sen. Royce West
Sen. Lois W. Kolkhorst Sen. John Whitmire
Sen. Robert Nichols
Bio and Contact Information for Members of the House Committee on Higher Education
Committee on Higher Education  
Representative J. M. Lozano, Chair
Representative Travis Clardy
Representative John Raney, Vice Chair Representative Donna Howard
Representative Roberto Alonzo Representative Geanie Morrison
Representative Carol Alvarado Representative Chris Turner
Representative Angie Chen Button  
Bio and Contact Information for Members of the House Committee on Appropriations
House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Article III
Representative John Zerwas, Chair
Representative Rick Miller
Representative Oscar Longoria, Vice-Chair Representative Sergio Muñoz, Jr.
Representative Trent Ashby Representative Mary Ann Perez
Representative Greg Bonnen Representative Dade Phelan
Representative Giovanni Capriglione
Representative John Raney
Representative Scott Cosper Representative Kevin Roberts
Representative Sarah Davis Representative Justin Rodriguez
Representative Jay Dean
Representative Toni Rose
Representative Dawnna Dukes
Representative J.D. Sheffield
Representative Helen Giddings
Representative Ron Simmons
Representative Larry Gonzales Representative Gary VanDeaver
Representative Mary González Representative Armando Walle
Representative Donna Howard Representative Gene Wu
Representative Linda Koop  
Bio and Contact Information for Members of the House Committee on Appropriations - Subcommittee
Representative Trent Ashby, Chair Representative Linda Koop
Representative Helen Giddings, Vice Chair Representative John Raney
Representative Mary E. Gonzalez Representative Gary VanDeaver
Representative Donna Howard  

Blinn College Timeline 2016-2017

Election Day November 8, 2016
Pre-Filing 85th Legislature Begins November 14, 2016
Blinn Legislative Delegation Luncheon November 29, 2016
Legislative Budget Hearings Begin November-December
85th Legislature Convenes January 10, 2017
Committee Hearings, Legislative Visits & Public Testimony January – April 2017
Community College Day February 7, 2017
85th Legislature Adjourns May 29, 2017
Governor’s Veto Period Expires June 18, 2017

Legislative Timeline 2016-2017*

Interim Charges
- House - November 4, 2015
- Senate - October 12, 2015

Blinn College Board adopts priorities for the 85th Legislative Session
- July-August, 2016

Bill pre-filing period
- November 2016-January 2017

85th Legislature convenes
January 10, 2017

85th Legislature adjourns
May 29, 2017

* More dates to follow when published.

Updates and Notices

June 7, 2017 - 85th Special Session - Details
June 6, 2017 - Special Session Call - List of Agenda Items
June 2, 2017 - Budget Certified - No Announcement for Special Session
May 29, 2017 - Senate Adjourns Sine Die
May 29, 2017 - Last Day of Session Update - 140th Day
May 27, 2017 - Day 138 of the 85th Regular Session
May 27, 2017 - HB 21 Senate Conferees Announced
May 26, 2017 - Straus & Patrick - Friday Night Press Conferences
May 26, 2017 - HB 2 - House Concurs
May 26, 2017 - SB 1 -Conference Committee Report
May 25, 2017 - Legislative Update - May 25,2017
May 24, 2017 - HB 21 – Senate Will Not Appoint Conferees
May 24, 2017 - HB 21 – House Conferees
May 24, 2017 - Legislative Update - May 24 (135th day)
May 22, 2017 -Legislative Update - May 22,2017
May 22, 2017 - School Finance Bill Passed Senate as Amended
May 21, 2017 - SB 1 Conferees Reach Consensus
May 20, 2017 - SB 2 passed as an Amendment on SB 699
May 20, 2017 - Legislative Update - May 20,2017
May 19, 2017 - Legislative Update - May 19, 2017
May 17, 2017 - Patrick Priorities – Special Session Possibility
May 17, 2017 - Legislative Update - May 17, 2017
May 15, 2017 - Legislative Update – 126th Day
May 12, 2017 - Midnight Deadline Arrives - Over 200 Bills Left on Calendar
May 11, 2017 - Midnight Deadline – 122nd day
May 9, 2017 - Looming Deadlines
May 8, 2017 - Legislative Update - May 8,2017
May 2, 2017 - Bills on the Move Floor Spotlight - 5/2
May 1, 2017 - Legislative Update - May 1, 2017
April 25, 2017 - Legislative Update - April 25,2017
April 20, 2017 - House Conferees for Budget Bill Appointed
April 6, 2017 - House Budget Bill – Floor Debate Today
April 3, 2017 - House Pre-Filed Amendments
March 24, 2017 - Week in Review - March 24
March 22, 2017 - Senate Budget Bill Heading to the Floor
March 10, 2017 - Bill Filing Deadline - Preliminary Totals
February 9, 2017 - House Committees Announced
January 30, 2017 - 85th Legislative Update - Week of January 30th
January 18, 2017 - Senate Committee Assignments - 85th Session

Related Links

The Texas Comptroller’s Full Biennial Revenue Estimate - Released 1/9/2017

The Texas Association of Community Colleges

The Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC) is a non-profit association that includes all 50 public community college districts in the state. The General Appropriations Bill and legislation affecting public community colleges in general have been and remain the principal concerns of TACC. The community colleges of Texas understand that the most critical part of their mission focuses on the success of the students who seek educational opportunities at our institutions.

TACC Legislative Committee 2017

TACC Schedule of Relevant Meeting January 2017

TACC-TASA Dual Credit Workgroup Recommendations

TACC Legislative Briefs

Texas Community Colleges Funding Request for 2018-19 Biennium Priorities

Legislative Crosswalk Flow Charts 2017 (PDF)

Community College Association of Texas Trustees

The Community College Association of Texas Trustees serves to provide advocacy and professional development to the members of the governing boards of the 50 Community Colleges in Texas. CCATT partners with the member organization of Community College Presidents and Chancellors. Additional information for the individual institutions can be found on the TACC website: Texas Association of Community Colleges.

Texas Legislature Online