Governor Rick Perry vetoes HB 2103 that was an added educational
benefit for Texas Correctional Officers. HB 2103 would have helped assist
Texas Correctional Officers in obtaining their 4 year degree from Sam or
25%. The state has not been successful in addressing the officer turn over
rate. This bill would have given officers who were attending Sam Houston
State, an added incentive to continue working for TDCJ after they graduate.
Over the last seven years, Texas has spent over $600,000,000 in recruiting
and training new officers. TDCJ has lost over 50,000 officers from 2000 to
2007. With cost of living increasing an average of 4.1%, more officers are
expected to leave since the Texas Legislator only increased their pay 2%.
TDCJ is the lowest paid large prison system in the United States and ranks
in the bottom 47 out of the 50 states.
In Governor Perry's comment for the Veto he stated that:
"HB 2103 would provide student loan repayment assistance for correctional
officers who take junior- and senior- level courses at Sam Houston State
University and fullfill certain other requirements.
Although correctional officers are needed across the state, this bill would
limit them to attending only one specified university to achieve the intended
Governor Perry missed the target on this one, since the bill clearly stated
this was a pilot program. The bill would have saved TDCJ money in training
cost, since TDCJ loses many officers who graduate from Sam Hosuton
State. The bill was an incentive to keep these educated officers longer.