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 finishes session

The first regular session of the 93rd General Assembly will adjourn on Friday, May 13. This issue of the UM Legislative Update provides a recap of legislative activity affecting the University of Missouri.

Budget

The state budget for fiscal year 2006 was truly agreed to and finally passed, and placed on Gov. Matt Blunt's desk by Friday, May 6. The House and Senate voted to keep public higher education institutions in Missouri at the 2005 level. While this is not an increase, given the state's limited resources, higher education fared better than most state departments. [Read more…]

Medicaid reform legislation

In addition to the passage of the University's FY06 budget, a number of budgetary changes were made to Medicaid that will ultimately affect the University Hospital and Clinics and Missouri Rehabilitation Center. SB 539, which has been signed by the governor, makes the statutory changes that are necessary to implement some of the Medicaid budget cuts. It also creates a Medicaid Reform Commission to study the program and sunsets the current Medicaid program as of June 30, 2008. [Read more…]

New school funding formula sent to governor

The House approved SB 287 by a vote of 94-65 on May 12. The bill now goes to the governor, who has praised the legislation and is expected to sign it. SB 287 transitions the state away from a tax-rate driven education formula to a student-needs based funding formula, and would be phased-in over a period of seven years. School districts involved in the lawsuit against the state say they are likely to continue their suit regardless of the new formula.

Lawmakers approve measure related to American Sign Language

Missouri higher education institutions and public schools can treat American Sign Language as a foreign language credit under a measure approved by lawmakers Wednesday. The bill, HB 530 sponsored by Rep. Danie Moore (R-Fulton), is designed to encourage more schools to offer sign language courses to meet a growing demand for citizens who can sign. Earlier versions of the bill considered in previous sessions would have required higher education institutions including the University of Missouri to accept sign language courses as foreign language credits, but this year's successful version made the decision optional and gave institutions broad latitude to determine whether or not they will accept the credits. The goal, according to sponsors, is to raise the awareness of the need for more sign language interpreters. The bill also indicates that the Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Missouri American Sign Language Teachers Association will assist schools and colleges with the development and teaching of courses.

Bills related to military families make progress at end of session

A bill that waives out of state tuition for family members of active military stationed in Missouri won legislative approval and has been signed by the governor. SB 252
creates the Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement Commission and also stipulates that spouses, primary or secondary age children, and children under 24 years of age of military members assigned within the state under military orders shall receive in-state tuition at Missouri public higher education institutions. Another bill, HB 94 sponsored by Rep. Mike Cunningham (R-Marshfield), would establish a scholarship program for survivors of veterans killed or injured in action after Sept. 11, 2001. The bill has passed the House and is on the Senate calendar.

Profile: Rep. Brad Lager

Lager

We plan to feature different members of the Missouri House of Representatives and Senate. This week we focus on Rep. Brad Lager (R-Maryville), chair of the House Budget Committee. "What impressed me and a lot of other people in the Capitol was the way higher education worked with us as partners this year," Lager said. "I think a continued partnership will serve higher education well next year." [Read more…]


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