Highlights from the 2019 Texas Legislature

Published: May 29, 2019


UNTHSC is successful in our mission to create solutions for a healthier community because of our willingness to take on the most pressing health problems in Texas.

Through a growing mindset of innovation and Extraordinary Teamwork, we’re building a reputation as a team that can be trusted to make a real difference in people’s lives.

This was reflected in the 2019 Texas Legislature, which ended Monday. State leaders invested in UNTHSC on key issues ranging from preventing human trafficking to expanding children’s access to mental health services — and made several other decisions that impact us all.

Some highlights of biennium funding:

  • Formula funding: UNTHSC received a $2.5 million increase in formula funding, primarily a result of increased student attendance and research efforts.
  • Human trafficking. Bruce Budowle and the UNT Center for Human Identification will receive $10 million to enhance the Center’s missing person identification capacity, pursue novel technologies and train and educate scientists and health care professionals across the state to identify and assist individuals vulnerable to trafficking.
  • Sexual assault kit backlog. The Center for Human Identification will receive $5 million to expand its capacity to process sexual assault evidence kits and train more forensic professionals to help give more victims the justice they deserve.
  • The Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium. The consortium, created as a result of the Santa Fe school shooting, will award $100 million in research grants and expand children’s access to psychiatrists. UNTHSC is a member of this new group.
  • Graduate Medical Education. The Legislature approved a $60 million increase in graduate medical education grant funding to create more in-state residency slots and keep up with growing number of Texas medical school graduates. Maintaining this balance is critical to keeping physicians in Texas and reducing the primary care physician shortage.
  • Art Eisenberg Memorial Resolution. At our request, the Texas House passed a resolution memorializing Dr. Eisenberg, a pioneer in the field of forensic genetics who worked at UNTHSC from 1989 until 2017. We cherish his service and friendship.

Together, we’ll approach these opportunities with a spirit of collaboration and ingenuity.

UNTHSC cannot allow a mentality of relying on increased state funding to fuel growth. To become truly financially strong, we must continue to diversify our revenue streams, invest in our people and cultivate a spirit of entrepreneurship in this rapidly shifting health care and higher education environment.