The proposed Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine has received a funding boost, which supporters are calling a “major victory” for the project.

Last week, the state’s House Budget Conference Committee voted to allocate $17.35 million to the effort by Texas Tech to establish a veterinary school in Amarillo. This number is up from approximately $4 million previously approved by the Senate.

The proposed $17 million budget was approved by the committee as part of House Bill 1. The budget will still have to face approval by legislators before it can reach the governor’s desk.

Following the approval, former Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance took to social media thanking legislators and calling the proposed project a “done deal.”

“The Texas Tech vet school is a done deal,” Hance said. “We are most fortunate for our legislative leaders. It would not have happened without the delegation from West Texas. This is a very important day in our history.”

Sens. Charles Perry (Lubbock) and Kel Seliger (Amarillo) along with Reps. Dustin Burrows (Lubbock), John Frullo (Lubbock), Ken King (Canadian), Four Price (Amarillo), John T. Smithee (Amarillo), and Drew Springer (Muenster) also issued a statement, calling the budget approval a “great day for this state and for the entire country.”

“The addition of the vet school will enhance the ability to meet the demand for a growing population and secure the food supply,” the statement read. “The school will begin to address the hundreds of applicants that are leaving the State of Texas for a more costly education and coming back to practice in their home state with upwards of $250,000 in debt due to an out-of-state tuition. This is a great day for future veterinarians of this great state and for the entire country.”

Thomas Warren

Thomas Warren, III is the editor-in-chief of the Amarillo Pioneer newspaper in Amarillo, Texas.

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