Texas House in favor of funding UTPB
April 7, 2017
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(AUSTIN) – After a long debate, the Texas House approved Senate Bill 1, the General Appropriations Act, which included funding for programs and services in the Permian Basin.
Generally, the proposed House budget appropriates $106.8 billion in available revenue which overall amounts to $1 billion less than the current budget. Despite revenue challenges posed by the decline in the oil and gas sector, along with reductions in sales tax collection, increased population, and inflation growth, the budget approved by the House includes new money for public education, new funds for community mental health services, investments to improve child protective services, and a commitment to border security funding.
“In these tough economic times, it is important for the Texas Legislature to deliver a conservative and responsible balanced budget to the state,” Craddick said. “The Texas House took a transparent approach that prioritizes critical items in order to provide needed resources for issues that affect Texans. Even with challenging budget cuts, I am proud that the House approved continued funding for some of our area’s needs.”
“The Texas House attempts to take into account the various needs from each of the state’s diverse regions when drafting the state budget,” Craddick said. “Myself and the entire West Texas delegation worked diligently to ensure that West Texas and the Permian Basin received funding for the programs and services our constituents greatly need. We will continue to work together with the Senate to ensure this funding remains in the final version of the state budget.”
The proposed House budget includes funding for various programs and services for the Permian Basin area, including:
- The House approved over $41 million each fiscal year in funding for The University of Texas at Permian Basin (UTPB). In the UTPB items of appropriation, the Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center is approved to receive $324,900 over the biennium for operating costs. While the new engineering building is under construction, students will be able to work toward their engineering degree with the support of the Texas House, which approved over $1.6 million in funding over the biennium for the College of Engineering.
- House Members approved $2.6 million over the biennium to fund the Midland Medical Residency program through Texas Tech University Health Science Center: an estimated $667,474 over the biennium to continue funding for the Physician Assistant Program offered at the Midland College campus, about $3.3 million for cancer research clinical trials in rural and underserved areas of Texas, and $3.6 million in funding for our West Texas Area Health Education Center.
- The House approved an estimated $16.4 million in education funding for Midland College. Of that funding, $146,070 for the biennium was approved for the Midland College bachelor of applied technology (BAT) program in order to continue to offer the baccalaureate degree program to interested students, and $648,112 over the biennium in funding was approved for the education efforts at the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum.
Because there are differences in the House and Senate budget, a conference committee with members appointed by each body to reconcile the difference.