Saturday afternoon, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed HB 1, the state's budget for the next biennium (Sept. 1, 2019-Aug. 31, 2020 & Sept. 1, 2020-Aug. 31, 2021) into law. In a rare move, Governor Abbott elected not to use his line-item veto powers and approved the budget without any changes.

The Texas Tech University System will receive $17.35 million over the biennium to help establish the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo. Texas Tech's focus will be on training veterinarians with a focus on large animals and livestock.

The official language from the approved budget states, "Veterinary Medicine. Texas Tech University is authorized to use funds appropriated in Strategy C.1.2, Veterinary Medicine, to initiate curriculum design and development, basic science faculty recruitment, and commencement of organization and other processes necessary to attain accreditation of the four-year veterinary medicine program."

The School of Veterinary Medicine will be co-located on the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center campus in Amarillo. It is expected to open in 2021, with groundbreaking for the new campus slated to be held before the end of 2019.

Texas Tech's veterinary school will be the second in the state, joining Texas A&M's which was established in 1916.