Friday, June 6, 2008

Turner calls for end to tuition deregulation

While this wasn't formally a convention event, it involved Democrats and is worth discussing, none the less.

Rep. Sylvester Turner (D-Houston) held a news conference at the Capitol this morning to call for repeal of tuition deregulation, a law that allows university regents to hike tuition without first obtaining the approval of the Texas Legislature. Most of the attendees at the press conference were "Craddick D's," Democrats who are part of Speaker Tom Craddick's leadership team. Speakers at the press conference included Reps. Ruth Jones McClendon (D-San Antonio), Tracy King (D-Batesville), Helen Giddings (D-Dallas), and Rep.-elect Al Edwards (D-Houston). Some non-Craddick D's speakers included Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston) and Reps. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas), Joe Deshotel (D-Beaumont), and Ellen Cohen (D-Houston). Turner announced that he would file a bill to repeal tuition deregulation in the upcoming legislative session. McClendon called tuition deregulation a "disaster" and said she supports full repeal and urged university administrators to make a better case before the Legislature for full funding.

Here was my question to Turner was how does he plan to get his bill passed, given that Speaker Tom Craddick, Gov. Rick Perry, and House Higher Education chair Geanie Morrison all have enthusiastically supported the law in the past. In response, McClendon suggested that Texans call their legislators and that will impact the process.

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