Legislative Update
Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Greetings,

In this issue, Gov. Greg Abbott lays out his legislative priorities in his biennial State of the State Address on Monday, Feb. 1; John Cornyn seeks to support “Dreamers”; STAAR tests are to be taken in person; Gov. Abbott seeks to ban homeless camping; and the Texas Senate changes rules about bill submissions.

We will follow legislation at the state and federal levels that pertain to higher education and its impact on UTA, including President Joe Biden’s new pandemic stimulus package.

As you receive updates, please let us know if there are any topics you would like to hear more about from Government Relations.

Thank you for your dedication to UTA, and Go Mavs!

— UTA Government Relations

Priorities

To-do list

Gov. Abbott unveils legislative priorities, including police funding, "election integrity," expanding broadband access, and more.

DACA

DACA fix

With John Cornyn’s support, new Texas coalition forms to push for congressional fix for “Dreamers.”

STAAR Testing

STAAR time

Texas will require students to take the STAAR test in person.

Homeless camp under bridge.

Homeless camps

As Gov. Abbott vows to ban homeless camping in public, Austin officials and unsheltered residents push for better housing access.

Republican elephant and Democratic donkey

Support issues

Senate changes rules so Republicans can still bring bills to floor without Democratic support.

Row of rolled up dollar bills.

Economic rescue

Here's what's in President Biden's $1.9 trillion economic rescue package.

State of Texas economic overview

  • The Texas House and Senate have each proposed preliminary budgets in the 2021 legislative session that would spend $119.7 billion in General Revenue over the next two fiscal years. Budget proposals by the two chambers of the Legislature are often very different and become a major point of contention during session. This year, the budget proposals are the closest they have been in years.
  • In late December, Congress passed a $900 billion coronavirus relief package, providing colleges and universities with another $23 billion in relief aid.

Upcoming meetings

The Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate both stand adjourned until Tuesday, Feb. 9. Archived sessions are available and live broadcasting will resume when they return.

Senate Hearing Archives

House Hearing Archives

Appointed positions

The Office of the Governor is always looking for people to apply to various boards, including higher education. If you need assistance in applying, please contact Jeff Jeter at jeter@uta.edu. See a full list of available positions.

Your input helps UTA

The University needs the support of its faculty, staff, and alumni to ensure we continue to receive resources to serve our students, conduct research, and expand our programs. For more information on how you can support the University and its legislative goals, contact:

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