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The Brief: Tuition has skyrocketed. Will Texas rein it in?

The Senate Higher Education Committee is considering legislation this morning that would limit tuition increases at public universities in Texas.

Texas Tribune editor Evan Smith and Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo talk education at TTEvents on May 26, 2016.

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Watch Texas senators discuss limiting college tuition growth
The Senate Higher Education Committee will consider bills related to limiting tuition increases Wednesday morning. Watch the discussion and read about the ideas being considered here.

Analysis: Can Abbott assemble an army for this session’s pre-K fight?
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Senate panel OKs bill requiring schools to teach teens about interacting with police
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Texas Senate passes bill to cut franchise tax paid by businesses — later
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Abbott wants "broad-based law" that pre-empts local regulations
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Senate passes property tax bill state leaders love, local officials oppose
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School choice bill proponents, foes debate what's best for families
Tuesday morning's Senate Education Committee debate on private school subsidies saw experts on both sides arguing they knew best how to educate black and Latino Texas students.

What you need to know

The Senate Higher Education Committee is considering legislation this morning that would limit tuition increases at public universities in Texas. Here's what you need to know

  • The Texas Legislature allowed public universities to set their own tuitions in 2003. Average tuition and fees have increased 148 percent in the last 15 years as state support has dropped. Past efforts to reregulate tuition have failed.  
  • Senate Bill 19, one of this session's proposals, would ban tuition increases at universities until 2022. The legislation is also a Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick legislative priority. It's not clear how the bill would fare in the lower chamber, since past attempts to freeze tuition have been greeted less warmly in the House. 
  • Watch the livestream on our website at 8 a.m. Watch the committee hearing here, and follow Texas Tribune reporter Matthew Watkins for updates. 

Other stories we're watching today:

  • The House State Affairs Committee is hearing testimony today on the omnibus sex trafficking bill. Read our prior coverage here, and follow Texas Tribune reporter Morgan Smith for updates. 

News from home

Meet Paige, our new Facebook Messenger bot! Message “hello” to to sign up for updates on the most important issues coming up in the 85th Legislature. 

What we're reading

(Links below lead to outside websites; paywall content noted with $) 

Democrats crank up the heat on Gorsuch at marathon hearing, Politico

FBI Director Comey to speak at symposium on UT campusKVUE

Perry aide opens lobby firm, signs energy clientsE & E News

Roy Williams on HB2: "What we have now is wrong," The News & Observer

Travis County considering $30,000 contract with 'go away' benefit, The Austin American-Statesman ($)

Health agency probes privatization of Medicaid transport programThe Houston Chronicle $)

For your calendar 

Join us on Tuesday, March 28, at KLRU's Studio 6A for a special screening of Beyond the Wall, The Texas Tribune's short documentary that explores the state's immigration issues through the eyes of undocumented immigrants, border patrol agents and a borderland rancher.

Photo of the day

State Rep. Alma Allen, D-Houston, spoke in opposition to Senate Bill 3, a controversial piece of school choice legislation winding its way through the Capitol this legislative session, on March 21. Photo by Bob Daemmrich. See more photos on our Instagram account

Quote to note

"Today’s consumers expect handy mobile apps for everything from reading the news to catching cabs to checking in for flights. Why should electricity be any different?"

— Gregory Craig, CEO of Griddy, about deregulating electricity in Texas via TribTalk

The Brief is written and compiled by your morning news baristas, Bobby Blanchard and Cassi Pollock. If you have feedback or questions, please email We're a nonprofit newsroom, and count on readers like you to help power newsletters like this. Did you like what you read today? Show your appreciation by becoming a member or making a donation today.

Meet Paige: Our new Facebook Messenger bot helps you keep track of the 85th Legislature. Subscribe by messaging HELLO to more.

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