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Amendment secures student financial aid

Nov. 5, 1999

Proposition 13 passes with 71 percent



Texas residents who are currently attending a college or university or plan to in the future can be assured that the state of Texas will have funds to provide student loans. In the Nov. 2 elections, Proposition 13, a state constitutional amendment granting permission to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to issue up to $400 million in bonds, passed with 71 percent of the vote.

Proposition 13 allows the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to continue selling bonds to help fund the state's Hinson-Hazelwood Loan program.

The Hinson-Hazelwood Loan program has provided more than $900 million in student loans to over 250,000 low- and middle-income Texas students since its inception in 1965.

In an Oct. 15 phone interview with Ray Grasshoff, a public information officer for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Grasshoff said, 'The demand for loans has been such so that there is more demand for money going out [in the form of loans] than there is money coming in to repay the old loans.'

The passage of Proposition 13 should help the state provide the necessary amount of financial aid to Texas students well into the next century.

'We anticipate that the Coordinating Board will not have to ask for more authority [to sell bonds] before 2005,' said Teri Flack, a spokeswoman for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

State senator Gonzalo Barrientos, D-Austin, authored the legislation which called for the proposition to appear on this year's ballot. Baylor Ambassadors president and Carthage senior Scott Schieffer spoke in support of the proposition for Baylor at a press conference held by Barrientos before the election.

Richard Hamner, a legislative assistant for Barrientos, said, 'We were pretty confident it would pass. This was not something we considered controversial.'

Baylor was hopeful that Proposition 13 would pass. According to the Baylor Office of Financial Aid, many students could be negatively affected if the proposition had failed.

'We're just thrilled to see it pass,' said Karen Wood, director of the Baylor office of governmental relations. 'It just shows that the citizenship of Texas is interested in providing students with low interest loans for Texas students to go to college.'