Senate approves budget bill banning universities from using state funding on DEI efforts

Madeline Duncan, Senior News Reporter

The Texas Senate unanimously approved House Bill 1, the proposed state budget for 2024 and 2025, on Monday.

The bill, which consists of about $302.7 billion in funding, includes a section prohibiting universities from using state funds toward diversity, equity and inclusion programs or practices. The section, proposed by state Rep. Carrie Isaac, prohibits DEI offices, training programs and activities related to DEI. 

In February, UT paused all DEI programs after Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter to state institutions warning them that DEI practices in hiring violate state and federal hiring laws. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick also included banning DEI practices in higher education as one of his thirty legislative priorities.

The bill allocates funding to UT-Austin, including $3 million per year to the Civitas Institute. The conservative institute focuses on teaching values of limited government, constitutionalism, personal liberties and free enterprise, according to a UT press release

The bill now awaits approval from Abbott.