FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 13, 2006
(512) 463-0120 office
(McALLEN) -- State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa today seized the opportunity on the first day for pre-filing bills to be considered in the upcoming legislative session to propose an ambitious agenda to help middle-class Texas families, including a three-year moratorium on rising university tuition rates, an increase in homestead exemptions for local property taxpayers, investments in school safety and juvenile justice programs, and a measure to help restore balance and integrity to the state’s campaign finance laws.
“Middle-class families are getting squeezed,” Senator Hinojosa said. “It’s time to make state government work for them — for a change.”
The centerpiece of Senator Hinojosa’s legislative agenda is his proposal to impose a three-year moratorium on rising tuition rates at the state’s universities.
“Pricing middle-class families out of the dream of a higher education for their children makes no sense,” Sen. Hinojosa said. “While our global competitors are investing in their students, we are putting college out of reach for many of our children.”
Senator Hinojosa’s legislation would:
- Impose a three-year moratorium on tuition and fee increases at universities
- Allow a single yearly increase after the three-year moratorium
- Cap the yearly increase at five percent
College tuition rates have soared to record levels since Texas leaders pushed through a controversial deregulation bill three years ago, Senator Hinojosa said. That legislation, which Senator Hinojosa opposed, shifted control of tuition rates from elected state representatives to higher education officials.
Tuition and fees have skyrocketed since the deregulation bill passed — up 59 percent at the University of Texas-Brownsville, 38 percent at the University of Texas-Pan American, 50 percent at the University of Texas-San Antonio, and 28 percent at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Costs at the state’s two flagship universities, the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M at College Station, are up 47 percent and 49 percent, respectively.
Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa said he will roll out the details of the rest of his legislative agenda for middle-class families in the days ahead.