Texas House base budgets $17.35M for Tech vet school; Senate only budgets $4.17M

Documents published Monday evening show that the Texas House of Representatives has marked $17,350,000 for Texas Tech University’s proposed school of veterinarian medicine in its proposed base budget. The published budget is only the initial version of massive bill that is subject to horse trading and change over the months to come, and usually finalized by the chamber around the beginning of April each session, which meets every other year.

The biennial budget proposes $7,500,000 in 2020 and $9,850,000 in 2021 (see section III, page 142 of the document or graphic below), which is the amount for which Tech officials asked.

The appropriation also includes a rider that states, “Texas Tech University is authorized to use funds appropriated in Strategy C.1.2, Veterinary Medicine, to initiate curriculum design and development, basic science faculty recruitment, and commencement of organization and other processes necessary to attain accreditation of the four-year veterinary medicine program.”

The news is a big beginning win for supporters of Texas Tech and the vet school, with very positive signs pointing forward.

The House budget must ultimately be reconciled with Senate’s budget, the initial version of which has yet to be published. Inside the Beltway, it’s expected the Senate could publish its version in the next day or two.

While things are very quiet on the Senate side, while I was at the Capitol last week, I was told, “senators don’t appreciate what happened to their former colleague.” That former colleague is former Texas Tech Chancellor Robert Duncan who was ousted in #RegentGate. That would bode well on the Senate side of the budget.

UPDATE: Hours after this posting, Senate documents disclosed a proposed $4.17 million for the vet school, the same number as was passed in the 2017 session. The Senate version includes a rider as well making the allotted amount subject to Higher Education Coordinating Board approval. The discrepancy between the two chambers, pennies in a enormous overall budget, will mean those working behind the scenes for the school will have their work cut out for them.

As the Texas Tribune has reported, the House’s proposal also ups an additional $7 billion for public education in the state.

This story will be updated as news develops.

[Editor note: the original title of this piece, prior to the update above, was “Texas House initial budget proposal includes $17.3 million for Texas Tech vet school”]

Jay Leeson is the founder of Other Side of Texas. You can hear the radio program by the same name each weekday 5-6pm CST on AM 580 Lubbock, streaming at OtherSideofTexas.com. Each episode is posted as a podcast, subscribe at Apple podcasts.


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