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Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

Friday, April 9, 2004

Higher Education Bonding Proposal Background

Bond Package Project List (PDF 71 KB)

SCS for SB1221, 1227 and 1305 would provide $350 million in bonding for infrastructure improvements at higher education institutions across Missouri with a particular focus on building Missouri’s economic future. The plan will create jobs, stimulate the economy and strengthen Missouri’s position as a leader in the life sciences.

The SCS adopted by the Senate Appropriations Committee on 3/29 provides funding for 15 higher education infrastructure projects across the state. See attached sheet for a complete list of projects. Each institution is expected to raise 25% of the total cost of its projects from private, federal or local funds to match the contribution provided by the bonding plan.

The proposal would require an annual debt payment of about $25 million. Tobacco funds earmarked for the life sciences would be used to pay the bond payments from FY2008-FY2011. The following year, Missouri’s annual debt payment will be lowered by more than $32 million through the retirement of several prior bonds. Therefore, beginning in FY2012, the higher education bonds will be paid out of General Revenue, but the impact will be budget neutral since the state’s annual bond payment will already be reduced by more than $32 million.

Creating jobs

Higher education investment will create jobs in the future. State funds invested in our public higher education institutions help attract private and federal dollars and strengthen our teaching, research and outreach missions at public institutions across the state. The plan will create hundreds of construction jobs, and life sciences research will generate new ideas and companies which fuel the economy across the state.

A great return on the investment

Economic models demonstrate that investment in higher education research facilities result in a $5 return in outside funds for every state dollar invested. It is a great return and helps ensure that Missouri gets its fair share of federal tax dollars for life sciences research. We need this investment to prepare future college students for the careers of tomorrow.

Using tobacco funds as they were intended to be used

The Master Settlement Agreement with the tobacco companies outlined that a portion of the funds made available to states should be used “for the advancement of public health.” Missouri higher education institutions will be using a portion of these funds to support infrastructure improvements that will benefit the health of Missourians through life sciences research. The higher education bond plan will support facilities that will lead to improved public health. All Missourians will benefit from the state’s use of the tobacco funds in the way they were intended to be used.

April 9, 2004 Index