The University of Texas and other higher education institutions will soon receive extra funds from the state. This comes after the Texas Senate approved a $3 billion funding for higher education construction projects.
Austin American-Statesman reported that The approval was after Texas Governor Greg Abbott asked lawmakers to consider legislation that will improve higher education. Hours after Abbott’s statement, the Texas Senate voted 30-1 to pass Senate Bill 52. The bill authorized more than $3 billion to construct research buildings and health facilities at public universities and health institutions across Texas, among other projects related to such.
What’s In Senate Bill 52
The Senate Committee on Higher Education will allocate around $620 million for projects in the University of Texas (UT) System. It includes the $80 million requested by UT-Austin to renovate the Microelectronics Research Center at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus.
UT-Austin spokeswoman Eliska Padilla said that the renovation at the Microelectronics Research Center would create a semiconductor fabrication facility that will support supply-chain needs for the defense sector and educate future industry innovators. Austin American-Statesman quoted Padilla, saying, “There is a critical need for capital investment across UT institutions. We are grateful for the support of our state leadership and Legislature for this much-needed funding that will help advance our education, research, and health care missions.”
Texas State University will also receive $141.3 million for a STEM classroom building, but it will receive a total of more than $376 million allocated for the Texas State University System. The other projects at Texas State University include a health building for the Sam Houston State University and library renovation at Lamar University.
The Texas A&M University System would receive more than $621 million for different projects. The bill is yet to be finalized regarding the amounts.
The Senator Who Pushed For Senate Bill 52
The senator who pushed for the Senate Bill 52 was Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe. Initially, the bill only included the UT System and the Texas State University System and called for a $1.9 billion funding. However, the Senate Committee on Higher Education made some tweaks, which was passed on Friday. In a statement by Creighton, he said that the request for higher education under Senate Bill 52 would help with the economic recovery from COVID-19.