HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
NOTICE OF FORMAL REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
COMMITTEE: Higher Education
Request for Information, Interim Charge Two
Due to the ongoing pandemic and the uncertainty as to scheduling interim hearings, the Committee is conducting necessary oversight functions through an information-gathering process under Section 301.014, Government Code.
For this charge, the Committee requests written submissions from independent public universities, Texas State Technical College system and public university systems on behalf of the institutions within their system regarding the assigned Interim Charge and additional questions as outlined below. All submissions are due on September 1, 2020, by 5 pm (CST).
Submissions should be delivered via email to the committee clerk, Julie Young, at Julie.Young_hc@house.texas.gov and shall be in word format. Submissions shall include the submitter name, organization or entity (if applicable and an authorized representative), mailing address, email, and telephone number.
All submissions will be circulated to each Member of the Committee after the September 1, 2020 deadline. A copy of all received comments will be made available to the public by the Committee and the public will have the opportunity to submit comments to the Committee in response to information received from designated parties.
Interim Charge 2:
Evaluate current and future capital infrastructure needs at Texas public universities, health-related institutions, and Texas State Technical Colleges in preparation for potential legislation to be considered by the 87th Legislature. Identify and evaluate alternatives to tuition revenue bonds for the State’s funding of higher education capital infrastructure needs, including options for addressing deferred maintenance needs at aging campuses.
1. As a result of the pandemic, have institutions’ infrastructure needs changed?
2. How have institutions’ needs changed since the 86th Legislature? Are there projects that were included in HB 2000 that are no longer needed; i.e., were funded through other means? Are there projects that were not included in HB 2000 that now are a need? If so, why?
3. If the pandemic has changed institutional needs, are there federal funds that could qualify to help offset COVID-related changes?
4. Has the economic recession impacted borrowing costs for a potential Tuition Revenue Bond? Are there any anticipated changes to the costs of borrowing in the future, should conditions remain as they are?
5. Are there financial or other benefits to paying for TRBs with cash rather than borrowing money?
6. What kinds of longer-term impacts will we see to institutions if TRBs continue to be pushed off?