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.

General Assembly approves FY06 budget

The approved fiscal year 2006 budget will be sent to Gov. Matt Blunt for his signature by the end of the week. The House and Senate voted to keep public higher education institutions in Missouri at the FY05 level, or a flat appropriation, as recommended by Gov. Blunt in his version of the budget. The University of Missouri received $401,019,361 for its core or operating budget, and the University Hospital and Clinics received approximately $23 million, also a flat appropriation. UM-Kansas City received a $1 million increase for its School of Dentistry to address the shortage of dentists in the state.

"I am very grateful to Governor Blunt and the House and Senate for their perseverance in maintaining our general operating budget for the coming fiscal year," University of Missouri President Elson S. Floyd said. "Given the harsh fiscal realities facing our state, this is indeed good news and a validation of the importance of higher education to Missouri."

The House and Senate conference committee recommended cutting funding for two state services stewarded by the University, reducing MOREnet's budget by $4.35 million and eliminating MOBIUS' appropriation entirely. University of Missouri administrators announced Wednesday, May 4 that the location of the two information technology services will be combined for an estimated initial savings of $200,000 to $300,000 annually. [Read more…]

Legislature considers funding for new health center at UM-Columbia

The Missouri General Assembly considered and passed the capital appropriations bill, HB 19, this week. The House amended the bill in committee to include $2 million for the planned Health Sciences Research Center at the University of Missouri-Columbia. The Senate, however, elected to remove the provision due to its lack of inclusion in the introduced version of the bill. The $180 million building would house classrooms and training space for the medical school, as well as research space for the study of illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The University requested approximately $80 million from the state for fiscal year 2006, but a difficult budget year resulted in a lack of funding for most building projects.

Student curator proposal passes Senate Committee

The Senate Education Committee passed the House Committee Substitute for HB 440 Tuesday, May 3 on a 6-2 vote. The bill would replace one of the nine members of the University of Missouri Board of Curators with a full-time student and would give the student curator a vote on all matters before the board. The bill has already passed the House and now faces the challenge of the clock to be taken up on the Senate floor before the end of session next week. A similar bill, SB 417, also was passed by the Senate Education Committee earlier in the session and awaits floor consideration. The House bill includes a sunset clause that ends the student curator process in four years unless it is reconsidered and passed by the General Assembly. HB 440 also would place a voting student on the governing boards of Southwest Missouri State University and Truman State University.

Foundation formula may still be reworked before session ends

After a setback last week in the House special committee considering the rewrite of the state's public school foundation formula, lawmakers are hopeful that a compromise will lead to successful passage of the bill before the session ends May 13. Debate over the details of the formula is expected to dominate the final week of the session as leaders from both parties and legislators from urban, suburban and rural areas search for acceptable compromise.

Last week, the House committee defeated the bill, SB 287. But after discussions involving Gov. Matt Blunt and leaders from both parties, the committee reconsidered the measure Wednesday, May 4 and passed the bill. It is expected to move to the House floor possibly yet this week. The latest version would require a seven year phase-in.

UM-Columbia breaks ground on National Swine Research & Resource Center

Officials assist in groundbreaking ceremony
Sen. Bond, Chancellor Deaton, Vice
Provost for Research Jim Coleman, Board
of Curators President Atkins, President Floyd,
and MU researchers assist in the
groundbreaking for the new Swine Center.

University of Missouri-Columbia officials broke ground Wednesday, May 4 on a facility that will serve as the world's only clearinghouse for genetic material and swine for researchers studying a multitude of health issues. Sen. Kit Bond joined University officials for the official groundbreaking. "This would not be taking place if it weren't for the great researchers we have at this University," Bond said. "I continue to be amazed at how well known many of you are, not just in the United States, but throughout the world." [Read More...]

Governor appoints UM-Columbia alum to CBHE

Gov. Matt Blunt announced the appointment of Duane E. Schreimann to a six-year term on the Coordinating Board for Higher Education. Schreimann, a former mayor of Jefferson City, is an attorney with Schreimann, Rackers, Francka & Blunt, L.L.C. He received a bachelor's degree from Central Missouri State University and a juris doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He replaces Robert Langdon on the board. The appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

Congress passes FY06 budget

Last week Congress passed the FY 2006 Budget Resolution that contained $843 billion in discretionary spending, but a $34.7 billion cut in mandatory spending over five years. The conference agreement also contained a $100 increase in Pell grants and a reserve fund to accommodate potential legislation addressing the Pell shortfall; however, it directs substantial cuts from student-loan programs through this year's scheduled reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. [Read more…]

Profile: Rep. Scott Rupp

Scott Rupp

We plan to feature different members of the University of Missouri Caucus throughout the rest of the session. This week we focus on Rep. Scott Rupp (R-Wentzville), vice chair of the House Higher Education Committee. Rupp earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1995. "The University of Missouri has a great impact on my district – it is providing quality education for over 500 families in my area," Rupp said. [Read more…]

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