2009 Legislative Agenda

Blog / January 29, 2009

IT’S HERE!  Read on…

The Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) released their Legislative Agenda for the 81st Session of the Texas Legislature and called for meaningful reform in higher education and accountability in government spending.

"Our Legislative Agenda reflects the core values of limited government, personal liberties, free market fundamentals, a strong national defense and traditional values," said YCT Senior Vice Chairman Laura Elizabeth Morales.  "Times are tough in this economy and we are asking the Texas Legislature to cut spending, lower taxes and make tuition more affordable for college students," she added.

The Young Conservatives of Texas is predominantly made up of college students and view rising tuition costs as a major concern to Texans, and a concern that should be addressed by the 81st Legislative Session.

"Tuition deregulation has failed.  Since the inception of this process in 2003, tuition has risen statewide at dramatic rates," explained Tony McDonald, YCT Vice Chairman of Legislative Affairs.

Other issues of concern to YCT include school finance.  YCT favors complete repeal of the Robin Hood Act and the adoption of a statewide voluntary voucher program.

YCT also favors allowing lawful concealed carry on the campuses of public colleges and universities and all buildings on college campuses.




  • Favor shifting a large amount of the state’s appropriated money from individual universities to the Texas Grant program. 

    • Allowing state funds to follow students will increase competition in higher education, thus increasing effectiveness of Texas universities.

  • Favor enacting an appropriations rider requiring a dollar-for-dollar reduction in matching state money for every dollar earned by a tuition increase with the savings being transferred to the Texas Grant program. 

  • Oppose any tuition revenue bond package.

  • Favor eliminating the approximately $3.4 million governmental and federal relations budgets for the University of Texas System.

    •  YCT opposes taxpayer funded lobbying.  The universities, as government entities, should not be allowed to use public funds to influence legislators.



  • Favor any repeal or erosion of tuition deregulation.

    • The tuition deregulation experiment has failed.  Since the legislature placed the power to raise tuition in the hands of university administrators in 2003, tuition has risen rapidly statewide.  The Legislature should act immediately to limit tuition increases.

  • Favor eliminating in-state tuition status for illegal immigrants.

    • A California court ruled in September 2008 that such policies violate the Federal Immigration Act of 1996.  The act prohibits giving illegal aliens postsecondary education benefits that are unavailable to U.S. citizens.

  • Favor prohibiting universities from restricting the time, place, and manner of speech and assembly more than absolutely necessary to protect normal academic and institutional activities.

  • Favor enacting an “Academic Bill of Rights” for all students at public institutions.

    • The principles of academic freedom and intellectual honesty are crucial to successfully educating the next generation of Texans, and should be protected.

  • Favor repeal of the “Top 10 Percent” rule.

  • Favor requiring all public universities to post check registers and financial information online

  • Favor eliminating the Sunset Commission exemption for Higher Education and requiring each university system to undergo a sunset review every twelfth year.

  • Favor requiring the Comptroller of Public Accounts to audit public colleges and universities.

  • Favor separating University teaching and research budgets to increase transparency within the system.

  • Favor requiring Universities to evaluate teaching skill as a factor in awarding tenure.

  • Favor making Boards of Regents accountable through a recall or affirmation election.

    • The Boards of Regents wield great amounts of power over Texas students and families. Currently they are appointed strictly by the Governor and are not accountable to those who are affected by their decisions. 

  • Favor prohibiting public universities from using mandatory student fees for explicitly political activities not consented to by each individual student.

  • Oppose the reduction or elimination of Government and Texas/American History graduation requirements.

  • Favor eliminating the exception for Higher Education Institutions from Section 556.005 of the Government Code, which prohibits state agencies from employing a registered lobbyist.

  • Favor eliminating the staff meetings exemption to the Open Meetings Act held by the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO).  




  • Favor a statewide voluntary voucher program to allow all parents to take their share of state money to an accredited private school, including a religious one, or to use the money for homeschooling.

  • Favor requiring public schools to use merit evaluations as a factor in teacher pay.

    • Teachers are currently being paid under the same scale program created in the 1950’s which rewards longevity in the profession over performance.  

  • Favor mandating that no more than 20% of all money spent on education is spent on overhead and administrative costs, excluding busing.

  • Favor moving local school board elections to the uniform November election date.

  • Favor allowing for the outside recruitment and hiring of education administrators.

  • Favor imposing limitations on the salaries paid to school administrators.

  • Favor eliminating the cap on the number of open-enrollment charter schools.

    • The current limit of 215 State licenses was met in December 2008, leaving many able charter petitions on a waiting list.

  • Oppose any taxpayer funded universal Pre-K plan.

  • Oppose all efforts to shift the authority of the elected State Board of Education to unelected entities.

  • Oppose raiding of Permanent School Fund for any purpose other than public education funding.




  • Favor the complete repeal of Robin Hood.

  • Favor eliminating the use of property taxes for public school maintenance and operation funding.

  • Oppose the creation, deepening or broadening of any tax, except for a deepening or broadening of the state sales tax.

  • Oppose the creation of a state income tax.

  • Oppose the use of video lottery terminals to fund public education.

  • Favor the elimination of all taxes on Texas businesses.

  • Favor eliminating the use of the Texas Lottery as a source of public school funding and the phasing out of the Texas Lottery.




  • Oppose any measure related to judicial selection.

  • Oppose any attempts to further erode the death penalty.

  • Favor repealing the Texas “Hate Crimes” law.

    •  "Hate Crime" laws create unnecessary classifications of crimes that favor some groups of people over others.

  • Favor requiring all able-bodied prisoners to participate in work programs with proceeds going to provide restitution to victims and defray incarceration and court costs.




  • Favor allowing lawful concealed carry on the campuses of public colleges and universities and all buildings on campus.

    •   Constitutional rights do not end where the University campus begins. 

  • Favor a concealed carry law with no requirement that a permit be obtained in order to exercise a citizen’s constitutional right to bear arms.

  • Oppose allowing local governments to ban lawfully carried, concealed weapons on their property, such as in public libraries, city buses, municipal centers, etc.




  • Oppose any effort to ban smoking in private businesses or residences.

    • A public-accommodations smoking ban would violate the rights of property owners who would prefer to allow smoking in their establishments. 

  • Favor a constitutional amendment banning the use of eminent domain for economic development.

  • Oppose the use of Comprehensive Development Agreements to construct large-scale toll road projects.

  • Favor all initiatives to preserve individual private property rights of Texas citizens.




  • Favor banning racial, ethnic, and gender preferences in hiring, promotion, contracting, and university admissions by state agencies, counties, cities, and other political subdivisions of the state.

  • Favor requesting an Attorney General Opinion addressing the issue of whether or not the use of race or gender as a factor in college admissions, government employment, and government contracting violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Texas Constitution.

  • Favor abolishing the Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) program.

  • Favor prohibiting arbitrary highway checkpoints.

  • Oppose any reduction in the maximum blood alcohol content rules for DWI.

  • Favor repeal of the open container law.

  • Oppose any effort to criminalize the use of wireless communication devices while operating a motor vehicle.




  • Favor any legislation that limits or further regulates abortion.

  • Favor the abolition of abortion as codified law in the event the Supreme Court of the United States allows states to rightfully pass and enforce such legislation.

  • Oppose any legislation weakening parental rights regarding their child’s health and well-being, particularly related to birth control and abortion.




  • Favor a constitutional amendment requiring a zero-based budget.

  • Favor a constitutional amendment that calls for a 2/3 vote in both houses to approve any tax or fee increase.

  • Favor a Tax Payers’ Bill of Rights.

    • Favor a constitutional amendment enacting a cap on state revenues, excluding federal monies, calculated at inflation plus population growth, requiring a statewide citizens’ affirmative vote to grow more than the calculated rate.

    • Favor a constitutional amendment that calls for the entire state budget (including appropriations mandated by the Constitution) to be limited to the rate of inflation combined with the rate of population growth.

    • Favor requiring that no governing entity raise its budgets more than the combined growth of population and rate of inflation.

  • Favor abolishing the franchise (or business) tax.  

  • Favor a Joint Resolution calling for the state budget to be reduced by 5% of the previous biennium budget and only allowing for allocations that meet this resolution. 

  • Oppose any diversion of dedicated funds from their designated purpose, including the Permanent School Fund, Textbook Fund, Fund 6, Texas Mobility Fund, State Park Fund, etc.




  • Favor increasing transparency in government by requiring all state entities to post check registers and financial information online.

  • Oppose any policy aimed at capping or taxing CO2 emissions.

    • YCT recognizes that Anthropogenic Climate Change is a fraud and that the economic prosperity of Texans should not be put at risk to achieve an untenable goal.

  • Oppose any expansion of SCHIP eligibility or funding.




  • Favor requiring voters to prove their citizenship, with state-issued photographic identification, immediately prior to casting a ballot.

    • Voter ID laws have been upheld by the Supreme Court to ensure that the integrity and the appearance of integrity in the voting process.

  • Oppose any initiative to allow individuals, regardless of profession and/or location, to cast ballots through electronic mail.

  • Oppose any measure allowing Election Day voter registration.  

  • Favor requiring strict disclosure of campaign contributions for all races.

  • Oppose all efforts to cap campaign contributions or spending.

  • Oppose any effort to turn redistricting over to a commission.

  • Favor transferring the public integrity unit from Travis County District Attorney to the State Prosecuting Attorney (appointed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals).

  • Favor prohibiting municipalities from altering the ballot language of citizen initiatives.




  • Favor legislation that makes illegal residence in Texas a violation of state law.

  • Favor English as the official language of the State of Texas, and requiring all publications of the State of Texas and its political subdivisions to be published only in English.

  • Oppose permitting or requiring the state to accept identification issued by foreign governments as proof of identity.

  • Favor requiring documentation of legal status in the United States to receive a driver’s license. Requiring all licenses issued to non-citizens to expire when the individual’s legal status in the United States terminates and for that expiration date and status of immigration to be clearly noted on the licenses.

  • Favor prohibiting any local government or police department from enacting “Sanctuary Policies” and requiring that all state officers of law uphold federal immigration laws.

  • Favor a heavy taxation of money transfers across the international border with proceeds going to hospitals experiencing high costs of care for illegal immigrants.