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Summary: Under current law, institutions of higher education are required to provide exemptions for education to Veterans and their dependents. Due to institutions being burdened with cost, HB 690 would require the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to specify that funding be allocated to reimburse institutions of higher education for the exemptions. These exemptions are codified in the Texas Education Code Section 54.341(a): "The governing board of each institution of higher education shall exempt the following persons from the payment of tuition, dues, fees, and other required charges, including fees for correspondence courses but excluding general deposit fees, student services fees, and any fees or charges for lodging, board, or clothing provided the person seeking the exemption currently resides in this state and entered the service at a location in this state, declared this state as the person's home of record in the manner provided by the applicable military or other service, or would have been determined to be a resident of this state...."
Analysis: HB 690 would require the government to subsidize universities for a requirement that the state has already implemented. Although this bill does not address the credibility of the current exemption program, we would advise the legislature to address the program and the cost burden on the taxpayers. Because HB 690 is addressing a statutory obligation; yet, is also an increase in cost, we are neutral on HB 690.