Columbia | Kansas City | Rolla | St. Louis | Outreach and Extension

Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

Friday, February 6, 2004

Welcome to UM Legislative Update

Legislative Update is published by UM System Government Relations and University Relations to inform our stakeholders of important government activities affecting the University of Missouri.

Governor's State of the State Address

As part of Gov. Bob Holden's State of the State Address on Wednesday, Jan. 21, the governor announced his funding recommendations for all of Missouri higher education, including the University of Missouri System. The budget recommends a total higher education funding increase of $34.2 million, including an increase of $22.4 million, or 5.7 percent, for the UM System. In order to fund this and other increased expenditures, the governor called on the General Assembly to place several tax increases on the Aug. 2004 ballot, similar to those he proposed in 2003. The state's total general revenue for the current year and the projections for 2005 will become clearer as the session progresses.

Senate ties SMSU name change to UM bond proposal

In an agreement reached Tuesday, Feb. 3, Missouri Senate leaders vowed to move the “Missouri State University” name change for SMSU only if the University of Missouri's $190.4 million life sciences bond package clears both the House and Senate and is sent to the governor. Senator Ken Jacob, D-Columbia, had been filibustering for more than 24 hours in opposition to the SMSU name change when the deal was announced. The name change bill (SB761) was approved 27-4 and sent to the Senate Rules Committee, where it will remain until the bond plan clears both chambers. Meanwhile, the name change bill in the House was heard before the General Laws committee and adopted 7-3 after nearly four hours of testimony. The bill is expected to be considered on the House floor next week. The bill number is HB777.

UM life sciences bond proposal introduced in the Senate

Senate President Pro-tem Peter Kinder introduced the life sciences bonding bill on Wednesday, Feb. 4. SB1221 will be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee at the request of several veteran Senators who did not want to see such a large proposal bypass the appropriators through the normal channel for bonding issues. The bill also includes language that would allow the University of Missouri to lease seven acres of land to a private developer in Columbia for a hotel and conference center so that the institution can use the proceeds to construct a performing arts center nearby. Senate leaders agreed in the name change negotiations to include the lease language in the bonding bill.