University of Missouri Legislative Update University of Missouri

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

Three new curators confirmed by Senate

Curator David Wasinger, holding son Andrew, with Gov. Matt Blunt, son Alex, and wife Colleen.
Curator David Wasinger, holding son Andrew, with Gov. Matt Blunt, son Alex, and wife Colleen.

The Senate confirmed three University of Missouri curators on Thursday, Feb. 3. John Carnahan III of Springfield, Doug Russell of Lebanon, and David Wasinger of St. Louis all will serve six-year terms on the Board. All three are UM-Columbia alumni. The curators attended orientation on Thursday and their first board meeting in Columbia on Friday. [Read more…]

Appropriations Committees in House & Senate hold meetings

Rep. Kathlyn Fares (R-Webster Groves), Chair, held an organizational meeting of the House Education Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 1. The Committee also heard a presentation from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) explaining the foundation formula, which determines how much state general revenue flows to each of the 524 school districts in the state. The Committee will meet next week to hear from all of the four year public higher education institutions in the state. UM President Elson S. Floyd is expected to testify Tuesday morning, Feb.8.

The Senate Appropriations Committee heard from several state departments this week. Higher education institutions are expected to testify in the Senate in late February or early March.

University of Missouri: A record of excellence

As the University prepares for upcoming budget hearings, a new set of talking points has been developed to showcase how the institution is meeting and exceeding the state’s expectations for education, research, outreach and economic development. Read the list of points, which help showcase how the University of Missouri is succeeding despite difficult budget times in recent years.

Lawmakers considering SMSU board change, SMSU seeks trademark

On Tuesday, Feb. 1, the Senate Education Committee heard SB 114, which would make changes to the governing board of Southwest Missouri State University. Sponsored by Senator Norma Champion (R-Springfield), the bill increases the number of board members from seven to nine, with one member coming from each of the state’s congressional districts. This would mirror the makeup of the University of Missouri Board of Curators. The bill also adds a tenth member, a student, to the SMSU board.  
 
Champion told the Committee the bill would help the governing body better reflect the statewide mission of SMSU. The proposal also is incorporated in an omnibus name change bill, SB98, that includes the Springfield institution’s name change to Missouri State University. The Committee took no action on SB 114. The omnibus name change bill is expected to be considered on the Senate floor in the next several weeks.
 
SMSU also is seeking trademarks for the name "Missouri State University," without authorization from the General Assembly and the governor. Read President Floyd’s letter to SMSU President John Keiser regarding the trademark issue.

Senate Judiciary Committee holds hearings on stem cell research

After two hearings this week, members of the Senate Judiciary committee are preparing to take the first vote on whether or not the state of Missouri should ban a cloning procedure called Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer, or SCNT. [Read more…]

Governor recommends changes to Medicaid budget

Gov. Matt Blunt announced his budget recommendations last week. In House Bill 11, which deals with the budget for the Department of Social Services, he announced a number of cuts to constrain the future growth of the Medicaid program and to curb current fraud and abuse of the Medicaid system. [Read more…]

Federal update

As the 109th Congress begins work, Congressman Kenny Hulshof (R-Mo.), has secured a new position as a member on the Subcommittee on Health of the House Ways and Means Committee. The subcommittee oversees bills referred to the Committee on Ways and Means that relate to programs providing payments for health care, health delivery systems or health research. Hulshof also will maintain his position on the Social Security Subcommittee and as a member of the House Budget Committee. In a press release issued by his office, Congressman Hulshof stated: "I am honored to have the chance to serve on these important subcommittees. These subcommittees are going to be asked to address some of the most challenging domestic issues facing our nation. I am eager to get to work."
 
On Wednesday, Feb. 2, in front of a joint session of Congress, President George W. Bush gave the annual State of the Union Address to the nation. The president outlined policies for the upcoming year, including strengthening the economy, immigration reform, the ongoing effort in Iraq, and social security reform. Read more of the address.

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