Governor Abbott Signs Legislation To Elevate Texas’ Higher Education System

June 4, 2015 | Austin, Texas | Legislative - Signature Statement

Governor Greg Abbott today signed Senate Bill 632 (Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay; Button, R-Richardson) to implement the Governor’s University Research Initiative, an emergency item declared by the Governor that will attract nationally-recognized researchers and Nobel Laureates to Texas institutions of higher education. Governor Abbott hosted the signing ceremony at The University of Texas at Austin and was joined by members of the legislature who were instrumental in the passage of his initiative, as well as Chancellors from university systems across the state.

“Today I am proud to create the Governor’s University Research Initiative to attract even more nationally-recognized researchers and Nobel Laureates to higher education institutions across the great State of Texas,” said Governor Abbott. “The University Research Initiative, combined with all other higher education legislation I have signed today, will be the compelling force in driving innovation, advancing our higher education system to unprecedented levels and spurring our state’s economic development engines to fuel future growth in the Lone Star State for generations to come.”

In addition to signing SB 623, Governor Abbott also signed the following legislation with the goal of elevating Texas’ higher education system to be among the top in the nation:

  • HB 1000 (Zerwas, R-Richmond; Seliger, R-Amarillo) to formally place allocation models for university research funding programs into statute;
  • HB 1992 (Zerwas, R-Richmond; Seliger, R-Amarillo) to ensure Advanced Placement credits earned in high school count as college credit;
  • HB 2628 (Clardy, R-Nacogdoches; Garcia, D-Houston) to make core freshman and sophomore courses more consistently transferable between institutions;
  • HB 1583 (Clardy, R-Nacogdoches; Zaffirini, D-Laredo) to optimize career and technical training to meet growing demand for jobs;
  • SB 18 (Nelson, R-Flowermound; Zerwas, R-Richmond) to increase medical residency positions in Texas;
  • SB 239 (Schwertner, R-Georgetown; Zerwas, R-Richmond) to establish student loan repayment for mental health professionals in order to attract more students to the mental health field.