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.

Conference committee meets to negotiate budget

Selected members of the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives met Thursday, April 28 for a conference committee to discuss appropriations. Committee members include Rep. Brad Lager (R-Maryville), Rep. Allen Icet (R-Wildwood), Rep. Jodie Stefanick (R-Ballwin), Rep. Barbara Fraser (D-St. Louis), Rep. Judy Baker (D-Columbia), Sen. Chuck Gross (R-St. Charles), Sen. Gary Nodler (R-Joplin), Sen. Chuck Purgason (R-Caulfield), Sen. Pat Dougherty (D-St. Louis), and Sen. Tim Green (D-St. Louis).

The Senate Appropriations and House Budget Committees have different positions on funding for the University of Missouri. The House version provides for a flat appropriation, or the same amount the University received for the current year. Gov. Blunt also recommends a flat appropriation for the University. The Senate, however, recommends that the University’s appropriation be reduced by 5 percent, or $18,197,488 million, for next year. The conference process will allow both chambers to work out an acceptable position.

Also to be negotiated in the conference committee is a 10 percent cut to University Hospitals and Clinics, Missouri Rehabilitation Center and the State Historical Society. Other University related items that have been reduced are MOBIUS, MOREnet, and the Missouri Institute of Mental Health.

The House also recommended an additional $1.95 million for the University of Missouri-Kansas City dental school, while the Senate recommended $1 million.

House committee rejects funding formula

Rewriting the state’s formula for funding elementary and secondary education has been a priority of the governor and House and Senate leaders this session, but the effort had a setback Thursday, April 28 when the House committee charged with adopting the new formula failed to pass the measure. The Senate has already approved its version of the formula, SB 287, but House negotiators made changes in the calculations during committee work that resulted in a more favorable treatment for rural school districts. In the end, that led to a loss of support from urban and suburban lawmakers and a committee vote of 10-14. The foundation formula committee will meet next week in hopes of finding a compromise version that can then move to the House floor with just two weeks remaining in the session. Lawmakers must still tackle how to pay for the new formula, estimated to cost between $660 million and $773 million through a multi-year phase in.

Legislation giving student curators a vote advances

Two bills that would replace one member of the University of Missouri Board of Curators with a student continue to advance in the final days of the session. HB 440, sponsored by Rep. Bryan Pratt (R-Blue Springs), was adopted by the House last week and has been forwarded to the Senate Education Committee for consideration. The House bill includes a sunset clause that phases out the student voting curator in four years. The legislation also gives students on the governing boards for Southwest Missouri State University and Truman State University a vote. A companion Senate bill, SB 417 sponsored by Sen. Kevin Engler (R-Farmington), was reported out of the Senate Education Committee this week and is on the Senate calendar.

University of Missouri Extension delegation visits Capitol Hill

Members of University of Missouri
Extension meet in the U.S. Capitol

On Tuesday, April 19, a delegation from University of Missouri Extension visited Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. to discuss their research and education programs and how they are working to benefit Missouri. The delegation also emphasized the importance of federal funding for the USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) program. Recently cuts have been proposed to the CSREES program that would negatively affect the University’s extension programs. The University’s extension program, which has been in existence for more than 85 years and serves every county in the state, has received strong support from Missouri’s Congressional delegation in Washington.

Profile: Rep. Kevin Threlkeld

Re. Kevin Threlkeld

We plan to feature different members of the University of Missouri Caucus throughout the rest of the session. This week we focus on Rep. Kevin Threlkeld (R-Washington), who earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. “When I think about the pillars of my city, the people who excel not only economically but also through their volunteerism and civic leadership, a solid core of them have ties to the University of Missouri,” Threlkeld said. [Read more…]

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