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.

Name change bill goes to the governor

The Missouri House of Representatives on Tuesday, March 1 adopted SB 98. The bill includes name changes for five higher education institutions including Southwest Missouri State University. After several hours of debate from both supporters and opponents, the bill was approved by a 120-35 margin and sent to Gov. Matt Blunt, who has indicated he plans to sign it. The bill becomes effective Aug. 28 and makes five changes: Southwest Missouri State University will become Missouri State University; Missouri Western State College will become Missouri Western State University; Missouri Southern State University-Joplin will become Missouri Southern State University; Harris-Stowe State College will become Harris Stowe State University; and Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg will have the option of changing its name to the University of Central Missouri, pending its governing board’s approval.

Opponents offered several amendments to change the bill, but all were defeated by wide margins. Read the final roll call vote.

“The legislature has spoken on this issue,” said UM System President Elson S. Floyd after the vote. “We hope we will now be able to focus on the major issues facing higher education, one of the most important being adequate funding.”

Senate Appropriations Committee considers higher education budget

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, March 2 reviewed the higher education portion of the FY06 budget. Higher Education Commissioner Greg Fitch and associate commissioner Joe Martin walked appropriators through the various recommendations for financial aid and operating funds for public institutions. The governor recommended flat funding for nearly all higher education programs. The two exceptions for the University of Missouri were the Alzheimer’s Research Fund and MOREnet, which had funding reductions in the governor’s recommendations. UM President Elson S. Floyd was among several higher education leaders in the audience and responded to questions regarding tuition and other topics. The Committee took no action on the bill and will continue to review agency budgets before marking up the overall appropriations bill in April.

UM Caucus meets with President Floyd

Members of the University of Missouri House Caucus met Thursday, March 3 to hear from UM President Elson S. Floyd. The Caucus includes legislators who are alumni of one of the four campuses, who have children there, or whose districts include one of the campuses. More than 30 representatives attended the first meeting. After initial comments, President Floyd responded to questions regarding the name change issue, the operating budget, our need-based financial aid endowment plan, the UMKC chancellor search, and a variety of other topics. Senators also were invited to the breakfast and several were in attendance.

“We want you to know how much we appreciate your support of the University and of higher education,” Floyd said. “We want to be responsive to your needs and to provide information so that you can most effectively represent our interests.”

See a list of University of Missouri Caucus members.

Profile: Rep. Ed Robb, Vice Chair of the UM Caucus

Ed Robb

We plan to feature different members of the University of Missouri Caucus throughout the rest of the session. This week we focus on Rep. Ed Robb (R-Columbia), who serves as a vice chair of the UM Caucus. Robb served on the faculty at the University of Missouri-Columbia for many years. “The University gave me the opportunity to direct a public policy research center, which was the job of my dreams,” Robb said. [Read more…]

31st Annual Alumni Alliance Legislative Day

Join the University of Missouri Alliance of Alumni Associations and Extension on Wednesday, March 16 at the State Capitol for the 31st annual Legislative Day. Events include legislator visits and a rally featuring Senate President Pro Tem Mike Gibbons, Speaker of the House Rod Jetton, and UM President Elson S. Floyd. Outstanding Alumni Service awardees also will be recognized at the rally. This year’s display showcase will focus on economic development at each campus and Extension. Visit the new Legislative Day website for information on the awardees, talking points and more.

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