79R2567 KEL-D

By:  Naishtat                                                     H.B. No. 1060

relating to exempting certain persons in transitional living programs from the payment of tuition and fees at public institutions of higher education. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. Subchapter D, Chapter 54, Education Code, is amended by adding Section 54.2115 to read as follows: Sec. 54.2115. TUITION EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN PERSONS IN TRANSITIONAL LIVING PROGRAM. (a) In this section, "transitional living program" means a program that meets the grant eligibility standards for transitional living youth projects for homeless youth under Sections 321 and 322, Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (42 U.S.C. Sections 5714-1 and 5714-2), as amended. (b) A person is exempt from the payment of tuition and required fees other than property deposit fees if the person: (1) was a resident in a transitional living program for a continuous period of at least six months occurring after the person's 16th birthday but before the person's 22nd birthday; (2) maintains a current residence that is separate from that of a parent, conservator, or other guardian of the person; (3) is classified as a Texas resident under Subchapter B; (4) initially enrolls at an institution of higher education as a full-time or part-time undergraduate student not later than the person's 22nd birthday; and (5) demonstrates financial need as determined according to standards adopted by any institution of higher education in which the person enrolls. (c) Each transitional living program in this state shall provide current program information to the Department of Family and Protective Services and shall update the information as necessary. The department shall maintain a record of each transitional living program in this state and shall provide a list of the programs to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board not later than June 1 of each year. SECTION 2. (a) Section 54.2115, Education Code, as added by this Act, applies beginning with tuition and fees for the 2006 spring semester. (b) A public institution of higher education shall adopt the standards for financial need as described by Section 54.2115, Education Code, as added by this Act, not later than the 30th day after the effective date of this Act. For that purpose, the institution may adopt the initial standards in the manner provided by law for adoption of emergency rules. This subsection expires January 1, 2006. SECTION 3. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2005.