From the Office of State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 23, 2007
CONTACT: Melissa del Bosque
(512) 463-0120, cell (512) 947-4046

Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa Applauds Adoption of Community College Funding Agreement

AUSTIN -- State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa announced Tuesday that legislators have reached an agreement to restore more than $150 million in funds to Texas' community colleges.

"Working families have been squeezed enough," Senator Hinojosa said. "It's time to reinstate these funds, and let our community college students focus on their school work instead of the rising costs of an education."

Senator Hinojosa was appointed by Lt. Governor David Dewhurst as part of a working group to formulate a solution to the community college funding crisis.

Earlier this year, Gov. Rick Perry vetoed $154 million in funds appropriated by state lawmakers to pay for community college employees' health care, forcing many local colleges to consider tuition hikes, program cuts, and property tax increases.

Senator Hinojosa said community colleges will receive $99 million to pay the state's share of health benefits for eligible community college employees and an additional one-time payment of $55 million to transition to the agreed definition of proportionality for health insurance benefits.

"This is an immediate fix that keeps the college doors open and our students learning," Senator Hinojosa said. "The Legislature will take a more comprehensive look at this issue next session because pricing middle-class families out of an education for their children makes no sense while our global competitors are investing in their students."

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