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The Brief: The battle over veterans' tuition

For years, Texas universities have raised alarms about the increasingly high cost of a state program called Hazlewood, which offers free college tuition to veterans' kids. This session, lawmakers are poised to scale the program back.

Gov. Greg Abbott greets WWII veterans Gene Myers (Navy) and Eugene McClarq (Air Force) at the Capitol Veterans Day ceremon...

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What you need to know

For years, Texas universities have raised alarms about the increasingly high cost of a state program called Hazlewood, which offers free college tuition to veterans' kids. This session, lawmakers are poised to scale the program back

Proposals would limit who qualifies for the program. But Democrats and veterans groups have pushed back — concerned that doing so would go back on the state's promise. 

On Wednesday, the Texas House Higher Education Committee will hear a bill that would make substantial changes to the program, but leave benefits for current veterans intact. Future veterans would have to serve six years to pass the benefits on to their children. Follow Texas Tribune reporter Matthew Watkins for updates.

That's unlikely to satisfy universities. They want a solution that quickly reduces their cost — especially during a session when higher education is facing possible funding cuts and tuition freezes

What we're reading

Links below lead to outside websites; we've noted paywall content with $.

The House mugged Dan Patrick, Texas Monthly

Congressman brings bid to unseat Cruz to LongviewLongview News-Journal

Immigration officials at Laredo turn back protesting CubansSan Antonio Express-News

Abbott announces $500K grant to fight Houston gang violence, The Houston Chronicle ($)

Police and fire pension negotiations break down in Dallas and Austin; trust lost on both sides, The Dallas Morning News ($)

California moves to become 'sanctuary state,' and others look to followThe New York Times ($)

For your calendar

On April 24: Join us in Austin or on our livestream as the Texas Tribune talks about what "Repeal and Replace" could mean for Texas. This is the beginning of a three-part conversation series on health care. RSVP

On May 21: Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith hosts a Texas-centric trivia night at The Highball in Austin at 6 p.m. RSVP

Photo of the day

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke plays a game of sandlot baseball with Los Diablitos de El Paso against the Texas Playboys Baseball Club in Austin on April 8. Photo by Laura Skelding. See more photos on our Instagram account

Quote to note

"I used to enjoy Netflix. Now, watching old higher ed hearings is my Netflix."

— Rep. J.M. Lozano, R-Kingsville, chairman of House Higher Education Committee on Hazlewood

Correction: In Friday’s newsletter, we had the wrong year for Congressman Beto O’Rourke’s Senate bid. He is challenging Ted Cruz in 2018, not 2016.

The Brief is written and compiled by your morning news baristas, Bobby Blanchard and Sanya Mansoor. If you have feedback or questions, please email thebrief@texastribune.org.

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