Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

March 19, 2004

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Building Missouri’s future through the life sciences

Endowed life sciences research chairs

During the mid-1990s, the University of Missouri worked with the state to establish the endowed chairs and professors program. The state provided a match that equaled one-third of the total funding for an endowed position, with another third coming from university support and the final third coming from an endowment created through private donations. As a result of this new program, UM recruited world-class faculty and achieved new levels of research through increased federal and private support. Expanding on this program, House Speaker Catherine Hanaway (R-Warson Woods), along with 61 bi-partisan co-sponsors, filed HB1671 last week. This legislation creates the Endowed Life Sciences Research Chair program. Using the same formula as the old program, three sources are needed in order for an endowed research chair to be fully funded:

1) Non-state commitment of a $2 million endowment or $100,000 per year for 20 years.

2) University commitment of $100,000 per year for 20 years.

3) State commitment of $100,000 per year for 20 years.

The non-state funds could come from private, federal, earned income or any other non-state source. The state commitment would be subject to approval by the Life Sciences Research Board and paid from the life sciences research fund. In addition to the $100,000 state match, the legislation authorizes the Life Sciences Research Board to provide one-time funding of research/programmatic start-up funds in the amount of $500,000 over a two-year period for each endowed chair. The total state contribution cannot exceed $10 million annually.

 

Life sciences research districts

UM is tracking legislation that would create a life sciences tax increment finance (TIF) in several research districts across the state. Sen. Charlie Shields (R-St. Joseph) introduced SB1180, which would allow for a portion of future taxes from for-profit life sciences companies to be used by non-profit life sciences institutions located within the same research district for research enhancement. Gov. Bob Holden has a similar proposal as part of the JOBS NOW plan. A bi-partisan proposal is expected to emerge from the two plans following spring break.


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