For many years many of you, both Democrats and Republicans, have stated that you care about the hard working families in Texas. You are clearly aware of the many concerns that Texas families and businesses have expressed over the past 10 years regarding the rising costs of college tuition. In fact, some of you may have already filed some legislative bills for consideration by the 85th Texas Legislature in an effort to bring under control the rising costs of college tuition. For those of you that have filed these bills are to be applauded for your effort. I wish to share an idea that many of you, especially if you are new to the Legislature, may not be aware of yet. There is a very simple idea that could help millions of Texas families starting as early as August of this year. I would like to recommend for you to take the following action now:
Repel HB 3015, the bill that was passed in 2003 to deregulate college tuition. Restore things back to what they were and in repealing the bill you will also repeal the provision of the bill that tacks on an additional 15-20% on top of the regular tuition bill for every student in Texas!
Why do I make this recommendation? Let us consider two very important facts:
First, any law the Legislature makes can be undone! You have the legislative authority to fix when other legislative sessions messed up.
Second, consider the negative economic impact that HB 3015 has had on Texas families. It’s your duty to work towards a providing a good economy. Student debt is at an all time high and HB 3015 isn’t helping reduce that debt one cent. Rather, it forces families to pay an additional 15-20% on top of their required college tuition.
It is time to repel HB 3015 which was passed in 2003 during the 78th Texas Legislature. HB 3015 deregulated tuition and enacted requirements that all public universities set aside a certain amount(up to 20%) of every student’s tuition each semester in order to fund needs-based financial assistance programs for other Texas residents. This increased tuition by an additional 20% on top of what university Presidents chose to increase after the deregulation.
As you well know for most families this additional cost is an extremely heavy load to carry especially among minority students and their families! What makes this even a bigger problem is that Texas families were not given a choice in the passage of HB 3015. It was trusted upon them by the Texas Legislature without an opportunity to vote for it or against it. What should have been done was that HB 3015 should have put it up for a constitutional amendment to allow the voters the opportunity to pass it or say no to it.
Rather, HB 30145 goes against the core principles of conservatism and against the core beliefs of the Republican Party ideals. The passage of this piece of legislation is not what conservatives had in mind when voters put the GOP in control of the Texas House of Representatives for the first time in over 60 years.
The truth is that despite the Legislature’s good intentions HB 3015 didn’t work out as planned. This law is pure political liberalism at its very best. The mere fact that HB 3015 calls for the taking of money from those who work and giving it to those that are subsidize by government handouts is by definition liberalism.
With HB 3015 the only true winners behind the passage of the bill are the university Presidents that were given an open door to allow them to increase fees as high as they wanted with the passage of this legislation. Plus, these college Presidents have clearly proven that they like to spend more and more of taxpayer’s money! Without a system of resistant in place to control tuition rates there is no end in sight. The truth is that in Texas tuition rates have increased an astounding 222 % or more since 2003 and it will continue to rise simply because that what the bill is designed to do and that is what college presidents will continue to do.
It’s time to repel HB 3015. It’s time to put the people of Texas back in the driver’s seat of government and tuition rates. It’s time for college and university President to quit demanding more of hard working families’ money. Texas government should work to allow families to keep more of our money rather than impose the additional payment of tuition fees that harm families and students. It’s time to show true political courage in Austin by repealing HB 3015.
If you are truly a servant of the people then you must repeal HB 3015.
Former State Representative, District 33
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