Tribpedia: Bill Hammond

UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa announces his resignation on Feb. 10, 2014.
UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa announces his resignation on Feb. 10, 2014.

The Brief: March 14, 2014

The Dallas Morning News has obtained an email that seemed to reference attempts by UT System Regent Wallace Hall to undermine UT Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa.

Business Group Offers Tax Cut Plan

After Texas lawmakers were told they’d be working with a budget surplus this session, some immediately began calling for tax cuts. Now, one prominent business lobbying group has unveiled a plan for what those cuts could look like.

The Texas Association of Business erected a billboard for the day in Austin highlighting the failure of colleges and universities to graduate students with degrees or certifications.
The Texas Association of Business erected a billboard for the day in Austin highlighting the failure of colleges and universities to graduate students with degrees or certifications.

Graduation-Rates Campaign Heads to Dallas

A new billboard that will tower over Dallas' North Central Expressway on Monday offers a startling message on college graduation rates, an effort by a state business group to turn the spotlight on the the state's lagging higher ed outcomes.

Students on the University of Texas at Austin campus.
Students on the University of Texas at Austin campus.

Higher Ed Standstill

Heading into the regular session, conservative business leaders like Woody Hunt and Bill Hammond were leading the charge for higher education reform. Their proposals for getting more graduates in the state included funding for colleges and universities tied to graduation rates instead of enrollments, a distribution method for financial aid that favored high-achieving needy students.

Bill Hammond is the CEO of the Texas Association of Business.
Bill Hammond is the CEO of the Texas Association of Business.

Guest Column: How to Bridge the Budget Gap

As the clock counts down to the end of the regular session on May 30, it’s fair to ask House and Senate leaders — and all members — to meet our needs, not our wants. Here's how they can bridge the multi-billion-dollar gap between their budget plans without any new taxes.

Demonstrators stand in front of the Texas Capitol on Feb. 22, 2011 to show their opposition to immigration legislation.
Demonstrators stand in front of the Texas Capitol on Feb. 22, 2011 to show their opposition to immigration legislation.

For Republicans, the Hazards of Red Meat

The growth of the state’s Hispanic population and the rise of immigration as a political issue put Texas Republicans in a tight spot — especially the ones with statewide aspirations.

Former state Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, is shown in 2011.
Former state Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, is shown in 2011.

Berman Leads Charge From GOP's Right Flank

In 2009, state Rep. Leo Berman's bills — like the ones restricting illegal immigrants to certain geographical regions and denying them access to higher education — failed to gain traction. But with a Republican supermajority now in control, this could very well be the session of Leo.

Rainy Day Fund: Is it Drizzling Out — or Pouring?

Texas, like many other states, is proposing billions of dollars in cuts to help close a budget gap. But as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, one thing Texas has that nobody else does is $9 billion in a piggy bank called the Rainy Day Fund — and lawmakers are divided over whether to crack it open.

Battle Over Rainy Day Fund Heating Up

Texas, like many other states, is proposing billions of dollars in cuts to help close a budget gap. But as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, one thing Texas has that nobody else does is $9 billion in a piggy bank called the Rainy Day Fund — and lawmakers are divided over whether to crack it open.

Bill Hammond is the CEO of the Texas Association of Business.
Bill Hammond is the CEO of the Texas Association of Business.

Hammond: No Time to Be Penny-Wise, Pound-Foolish

We must continue to fight to ensure that we implement cost-saving reforms that reflect Texas' commitment to prosperity and to economic growth. But our current budget shortfall isn't a time to be penny-wise and pound-foolish.

Business: Hands Off Public Education

Lawmakers will soon take an ax to the state budget, but business leaders are hoping one big-ticket item will be spared. At its annual conference in Austin this week, the Texas Association of Business sounded warnings about potential cuts to public education. Erika Aguilar of KUT News reports.

An estimated 25,000 demonstrators attended the rally in Dallas to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform on May 1, 2010.
An estimated 25,000 demonstrators attended the rally in Dallas to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform on May 1, 2010.

TribBlog: Proposed Immigration Laws Create Unlikely Alliances

Proposing state enforcement of immigration laws can produce strange bedfellows. "Who would imagine that after 28 years of law enforcement the ACLU would be talking so nicely about me,” Sheriff Richard Wiles joked after being introduced as a common-sense sheriff by ACLU of Texas Executive Director Terri Burke for his opposition to proposed legislation patterned on Arizona’s.

Newly-elected state Rep. David Simpson at the head of the line to prefile bills on Nov. 8, 2010.
Newly-elected state Rep. David Simpson at the head of the line to prefile bills on Nov. 8, 2010.

The Crackdown Begins

Republican state lawmakers, buoyed by their party’s resounding victories on Election Day, have filed several bills ahead of the next legislative session that signal how far they're willing to go in tackling illegal immigration. State Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, filed a nine-bill bundle that included a proposal to require picture IDs at polling places.