Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

July 15, 2004

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

In this issue:

Governor signs appropriations bill for higher education

Gov. Bob Holden signed HB1003 during a budget-signing ceremony June 16 in Jefferson City. The bill provides FY2005 operating revenues for the University of Missouri and reflects the first operating increase in three years. Under the measure, the University of Missouri will receive $400.8 million for operating funds, an increase of nearly $12 million over last year.

University of Missouri President Elson S. Floyd has outlined to the Board of Curators a plan to use the new revenues as follows:

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Bond announces appropriation for UM-Kansas City research center

U.S. Senator Kit Bond announced in late June that the FY2005 defense appropriation bill will include $3 million for the UM-Kansas City Shock/Trauma Research Center. Investigators at the Center will use the federal appropriation to enhance their research, proven to be successful in the laboratory, so that first responders on the battlefield can apply it to treat U.S. military.

Trauma – and the shock that results from it – is the leading cause of death among American soldiers wounded in battle. There is a need to bring the potentially life-saving treatments developed by scientists in the laboratory to the patient. Moreover, treatments for hemorrhagic shock have changed little over the past 50 years, so soldiers injured today in Iraq or Afghanistan are treated similarly as soldiers injured during the Vietnam and Korean wars. The state-of-the-art research taking place at UM-Kansas City could drastically change the treatment for shock not only on the battlefield, but also in hospitals across the nation.

The appropriation bill must still be approved by a House-Senate Conference Committee before making its way to President Bush for final approval.

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Governor signs Ellis Fischel Cancer Center bill

In a private ceremony on July 9, Gov. Bob Holden signed Senate Concurrent Resolution 51, which designates Ellis Fischel Cancer Center as the state cancer center. The resolution enjoyed bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House and was unanimously approved. Its passage will help Ellis Fischel apply for certain loan and loan forgiveness programs authorized by the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003. The Act contains a provision setting aside $200 million in loans for new construction or renovation of cancer hospitals. Eligibility is limited to National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers or to those cancer centers designated by their state as “state cancer centers.” For more information on SCR 51, go to: http://www.senate.state.mo.us/senmogov/04info/bills/sc051.htm

For more information on other health care-related legislation signed by the governor, click here.

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Paige Sports Arena visit
John Rasmussen with MU's Intercollegiate Athletics office, center, points out features of the Paige Sports Arena to Appropriations staff members Angie Giddings, left, and Paul Wagner, right, during a tour July 8.
For more photos from the visits, click here.

Government Relations team visiting districts, arranging legislator tours

To help cultivate better relationships with lawmakers, members of the UM Government Relations team are traveling across the state this summer and fall to meet individually with senators and representatives to discuss higher education and University issues. It is particularly important in an election year as team members gather information about candidates and races. The visits provide an opportunity to review issues from the past session and consider topics that may come before lawmakers next year. It also provides a chance to get a glimpse of each legislator's district and constituency, as well as issues that are important to the people they represent. In many cases, University alumni are included in the visits.

"With term limits, lawmakers start jockeying for leadership and chair positions from their first term. There's no time for us to wait and see who is an emerging leader," said Steve Knorr, UM vice president for government relations. "We have to develop good relationships with candidates and lawmakers right away. Visiting their district office, business, farm or local coffee shop is the best setting for these discussions. It gives us a great opportunity to talk about the role of the University of Missouri and how we serve their district."

Government Relations also is busy arranging legislator tours of the campuses. In the past month, tours at UM-Columbia have included Rep. Rod Jetton (R-Marble Hill), Rep. Tom Dempsey (R-St. Charles), Rep. Steve Hobbs (R-Mexico), Rep. Rick Johnson (D-High Ridge), and Rep. Jeff Harris (D-Columbia). Appropriations staff, including Jim Howerton, Paul Wagner and Angie Giddings, also have toured UM-Columbia facilities. Stops included the School of Medicine, University of Missouri Health Care, the College of Veterinary Medicine, the nearly completed Life Sciences Center, the Sears Greenhouse facility, and the College of Engineering.

Additional visits are being scheduled on other campuses this summer and fall. Tours will include visits to facilities in need of updates as well as new buildings and research centers.

For photos from the visits, click here.

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Tour showcases Extension programs in Kansas City

A June 25 tour of the 4747 Troost Building at UM-Kansas City gave University of Missouri President Elson S. Floyd a chance to see how the University is aiding local economic development through public and private partnerships. Representatives Craig Bland (D-43), Yvonne Wilson (D-43) and Brian Yates (R-56) were among those who joined Board of Curators President Mary James and Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce President Pete Levi for a reception and tour of facilities.

The ninety people who took part in the visit also heard from Extension and UM-Kansas City employees about the programs offered at the 4747 Troost facility, as well as from clients about how University programs have helped them succeed in their businesses. The state representatives who attended commented on how important UM programs like these are to the Kansas City area and to the state. For more information on programs offered at 4747 Troost, visit http://www.bloch.umkc.edu/sbdc/index.htm.

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Missouri Rehabilitation Center hosts legislators

Rep. Jack Goodman (R-Mt. Vernon) and Rep. Brad Roark (R-Springfield) attended a luncheon at Missouri Rehabilitation Center in Mount Vernon on June 29. The purpose of the visit was to highlight the uniqueness of MRC and enable the legislators to learn more about the variety of services offered there. The Center plans to host other legislators throughout the year to emphasize that University of Missouri Health Care facilities are not only in Columbia, but also in rural locations such as Southwest Missouri. The September Board of Curators meeting also is scheduled to be held in Mount Vernon, and a tour of the MRC facilities is planned.

MRC was recently featured in a Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations publication for a case study using standards to improve medication use and safety. The case study outlines strategies and processes used over a four-year period to implement a reliable computerized medication-management system for inpatient care. The system includes pharmacist electronic order review, electronic charting and bedside patient identification with a bar-code system.

MRC was founded in 1907 by the Department of Health as a tuberculosis sanatorium. It has been the state’s designated provider for traumatic brain injury rehabilitation since 1985. University of Missouri Health Care acquired MRC as a member hospital in 1996. For more information on the Missouri Rehabilitation Center, go to: http://www.muhealth.org/~rehab/

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