UTSA administration to discuss three funding priorities at Legislative Session

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Texas Capitol Building, Austin

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(Jan. 13, 2015) -- The beginning of 2015 brings a new session of the Texas Legislature, where lawmakers will address the state’s many needs including higher education. UTSA President Ricardo Romo will spend time in Austin to help legislators understand UTSA’s needs including three top priorities.

>> The first priority is Tuition Revenue Bonds. UTSA's TRB request will be for $137.5 million to help fund a new Instructional Science and Engineering Building (ISE Building) and to renovate the 39-year-old Peter Flawn Science Building.

The ISE Building would add 175,000 square feet for instructional laboratories and classrooms, STEM education and research, and support programs that enhance teaching skills of students preparing for careers in science instruction at K-12 institutions. UTSA is asking for $95 million in TRB funding for this project.

The TRB request for the Flawn facility is $42.5 million. The projects include renovations and adaptive reuse of UTSA's original Science Building. Renovation would transform obsolete laboratories that will be vacated on completion of the planned ISE Building. The new version of the Flawn building will ensure that UTSA science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) facilities reflect up-to-date technology, safety and security.

>> The second legislative priority is Hazlewood Act exemptions. Each year, the university foregoes some $10 million in tuition and fees under the Hazlewood Act to provide educational opportunities to the families of active and retired military members. As of August 2014, UTSA has foregone some $40 million under the program. UTSA will encourage the Legislature to continue providing emergency relief.

Last session, two years ago, the Legislature provided a one-time pool of $30 million to help address the fiscal year 2011-2012 impact of Hazlewood. This provided some relief to the total impact of $110.2 million for all of the state’s higher education institutions. UTSA’s impact at the time was $7.4 million, and UTSA received $2.4 million from the Texas Legislature.

For fiscal year 2013-2014, the impact on UTSA was $10.2 million; the projection for fiscal year 2014-2015 is an $11.2 million impact. UTSA will request the Legislature to absorb the entire cost.

>> The third legislative priority for the university is the Texas Research Incentive Program (TRIP). UTSA will encourage the Legislature to continue TRIP and increase the pool from $50 million to $75 million to help address the ongoing backlog of unfunded, eligible matching gifts.

UTSA has approximately $3.5 million of eligible gifts waiting to be matched. Statewide, as of July 2014, there was a backlog of eligible gifts for a state match totaling $90 million.

The Bexar County Legislative Delegation

Texas House of Representatives
Speaker Joe Straus, District 121

Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, District 116
Rep. Rick Galindo, District 117
Rep. Joe Farias, District 118
Rep. Roland Gutierrez, District 119
Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, District 120
Rep. Lyle Larson, District 122
Rep. Jose Menendez, District 124
Rep. Justin Rodriguez, District 125
District 123 seat to be filled in special election

Texas Senate
Dan Patrick, Lieutenant Governor

Sen. Carlos Uresti, District 19
Sen. Judith Zaffirini, District 21
Sen. Donna Campbell, District 25
Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, District 26

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For more information, visit the Texas Legislature website.

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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

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