FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 23, 2007
(AUSTIN) -- "I applaud Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Speaker Tom Craddick for reaching an equitable agreement regarding the restoration of $154 million in state resources for community colleges. I also am pleased that after addressing publicly my concerns regarding the governor's veto and holding a productive and successful hearing of the Senate Higher Education Subcommittee, that our state leadership reached a consensus that benefits Texas students and families.
"I am pleased that community college employees will receive a hold-harmless payment of $55 million to transition to a temporary definition of proportionality for health insurance benefits. These funds are critical in keeping community colleges affordable and accessible, especially to low- and middle-income students. What's more, as Chair of the Senate Higher Education Subcommittee, I look forward to continue working with the governor, lieutenant governor and the speaker, as well as representatives of our 50 community college districts in developing a long-term solution to this problem and a definition of proportionality that is fair.
"Finally, I am especially pleased that the agreement includes a compromise that will rescind those increases of tuition, taxes and fees adopted by community colleges because of the vetoed funds. I will continue to work with my colleagues, state leaders, and community college officials to ensure that community colleges and higher education remain accessible and affordable for all students."