Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1932
By: Maxey
Higher Education


The University of Texas at Austin's Texas Union (union) is a place where
students congregate in an unstructured setting.  The union is also the
primary planner and presenter of events and activities for the campus and
the principal source of co-sponsorship funding for events presented by
other students.  Every time a union fee increase is sought, the union must
go through a referendum voted on by the student body.  Other groups on
campus can raise their fees with only the approval of the Student Fees
Advisory Committee, a representative panel of students, administrators, and
faculty that analyzes and votes on the need to raise the fee.  The student
referendum requirement has left the union unable to raise its fees in line
with normal inflation and legislatively mandated increases in cost.
Current law states that this fee may not exceed $33 per regular session or
$16.50 for each summer session. 

H.B. 1932 allows the compulsory fee dedicated to the existing union
building to be increased if the board of regents of the university and the
Student Fees Advisory Committee concur.  Furthermore, it authorizes the
board to increase the fee more than 10 percent of that imposed in the
preceding year, if this amount is approved by students in an election for
that purpose. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


SECTION 1.  Amends Section 54.530(a), Education Code, to stipulate that a
compulsory fee for operating, maintaining, improving, equipping, and/or
constructing additions to the existing Texas Union building near Guadalupe
Street may not exceed $33 for each regular session and $16.50 for each term
of the summer session unless the board of regents (board) of the University
of Texas System increases the amount as provided by this subsection.
Authorizes the board, with the concurrence of the Student Fees Advisory
Committee, to increase the amount of the fee by not more than 10 percent of
the fee imposed in the preceding year.  Authorizes the board to increase
the fee to an amount that is more than 10 percent of the amount imposed in
the preceding year, if that increase is approved by a majority vote of
students participating in a general election for that purpose.  Makes
conforming and nonsubstantive changes. 

SECTION 2.  Makes this Act prospective to the 1999 fall semester.

SECTION 3.Emergency clause.
  Effective date: upon passage.