AUSTIN — Legislation coauthored by State Rep. Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) to reform the community college finance system to provide a much needed funding boost to Odessa College passed out of the Texas House of Representatives on Wednesday.
“Community colleges are paramount to preparing and educating the Texas workforce,” Landgraf said. “Rural community colleges, like Odessa College, have long struggled to compete for state funding with colleges located in more populated communities. That problem is solved by HB 8.”
In 2021, the legislature created the Texas Commission on Community College Finance and charged it with making recommendations to the 88th legislature about state funding formulas and funding levels for the state's 50 public community colleges. The commission issued its recommendations in November 2022, which are reflected in HB 8. The bill makes historic changes in the community college finance system to distribute funding on measurable outcomes of their students and provide a guaranteed yield level of funding to help rural colleges. HB 8 also supports career and technical education programs not currently funded under the current model and increases college capacity to meet workforce needs.
“Odessa College does so much good for our community and does more to prepare the next generation of energy workers than any other college in the state,” Landgraf continued. “HB 8 could increase state funding for Odessa College by more than 50%. They’ve done so much with so little state support compared to other community colleges, so I cannot wait to see what Odessa College is able to do with the additional resources provided by HB 8.”
HB 8 passed out of the Texas House of Representatives by a vote of 146 - 1 on Wednesday. The bill will now head to the Senate for consideration. If passed by the full Senate prior to the end of the legislative session, HB 8 will go to Governor Abbott’s desk to be signed into law.
Landgraf and the other members of the Texas legislature convened at the Texas Capitol building for the 88th Texas Legislative Session on January 10, 2023. Members of the Texas House and Texas Senate meet for a 140-day regular session beginning the second Tuesday in January every odd-numbered year to vote on legislation and pass a balanced state budget.