Legislation filed to amend the Texas PUF

The Permanent University Fund (PUF) has been a controversial topic for decades in Texas politics. The nearly 130-year-old fund only benefits two of the state’s university systems: the Texas university system and the Texas A&M university system.

State Senator Charles Perry (R- Lubbock SD-28) and State Representative Dustin Burrows (R- Lubbock HD-83) on Friday tabled legislation which, if passed, would change the constitution of government and change the allocation of PUF money.

Joint Senate Resolution 14 and House Joint Resolution 24 are identical pieces of legislation. According to the wording of the bills, 1/3 of the PUF would be reallocated to emerging research universities and other higher education institutions in Texas.

According to Senator Perry and President Burrows, the PUF comprises 2.1 million public acres in West Texas. Mineral rights to these lands have generated huge sums of money for the University of Texas and Texas A&M over the past century. As of June 2021, the PUF’s net asset value was approximately $ 24 billion.

Senator Perry said: “Today President Burrows and I tabled constitutional amendments to reform the Permanent University Fund. Existing for over 130 years, the PUF Fund has distributed billions to two universities. Texas has nearly of 30 million inhabitants and dozens of public institutions of higher education The PUF has fulfilled its original mission of establishing high quality education with a global impact – mission accomplished. all students benefit from a true texan resource.

“This money could reduce tuition fees and high property taxes, fund research and provide funding for growing community colleges. It’s time to make a positive impact on post-secondary education for all students.

President Burrows also said: “It is high time that all of the higher education institutions in the state that came into existence after 1883 were equitably funded; the state of Texas certainly has the wealth and the resources to do so.

“The PUF has resources in a large part of Texas, but Texas Tech University, University of Houston, Texas State University, University of North Texas, among others, are not getting anything. The current structure of the PUF is unfair to these schools and, just as important, unfair to the Texas taxpayers who support them. “

While the state legislature currently meets in extraordinary session, Governor Greg Abbott is expected to add PUF legislation to the extraordinary session’s agenda, otherwise it cannot be passed by the House and Senate. from Texas.

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