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.

University of Missouri schedules tuition forums statewide

University of Missouri President Elson S. Floyd last week began a series of open forums across the state to determine how Missourians feel about a proposed guaranteed tuition rate. The University is considering a guaranteed tuition rate for incoming undergraduate students that would not increase for four years, or the approved duration of their programs. "As we consider whether to pursue guaranteed tuition, it is of the utmost importance that we take the discussion of how to provide a quality, affordable education to the people of Missouri," Floyd said. The tuition forums are open to the public, and community members, alumni, students and their families are encouraged to attend. For more information on the tuition forums, a schedule and a feedback page, click here.

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House speaker names interim committee on higher education funding

House Speaker Rod Jetton (R-Marble Hill) has named the members of the Interim Committee on Student-Based Higher Education Funding Reform Models. The committee, which is charged with developing a new funding model for higher education that is geared toward students, will be chaired by Rep. Carl Bearden (R-St. Charles), speaker pro-tem of the House. Bearden sponsored HB 742 last session that called for a number of changes in higher education funding for the state, and the interim committee is designed to review the details of Bearden's proposal to craft a new plan to be taken up by lawmakers in the next session.

Committee members include Rep. Shannon Cooper (R-Clinton); Rep. Doug Ervin (R-Kearney); Rep. Tim Flook (R-Liberty); Rep. Esther Haywood (D-St. Louis); Rep. Steve Hunter (R-Joplin); Rep. Gayle Kingery (R-Poplar Bluff); Rep. Sara Lampe (D-Springfield); Rep. Beth Low (D-Kansas City); Rep. Scott Rupp (R-Wentzville); and Rep. Sue Schoemehl (D-St. Louis).

The committee is expected to meet in September and then conduct two additional hearings before developing a final set of recommendations by the end of the year.

Symposium focuses on higher education financing

The University of Missouri and the Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs at MU co-sponsored a Symposium on Higher Education Financing July 25-26 in Columbia. The focus of the sessions was to provide policymakers and the public with a glimpse of national issues related to higher education financing, how other states have approached funding, and to provide perspectives of lawmakers in Missouri. Nearly 100 individuals from across the state, including many legislators and higher education leaders, were in attendance. [Read more...]

Gov. Blunt hosts roundtable at UM-St. Louis

Photo caption: Donayle Whitmore-Smith, Rep. Hubbard, Gov. Blunt and Rep. Hoskins.
Donayle Whitmore-Smith, Rep. Hubbard,
Gov. Blunt and Rep. Hoskins.

Gov. Matt Blunt hosted a roundtable discussion at UM-St. Louis on Aug. 1. Many civic leaders were in attendance, including St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis School Board member and former mayor Vince Schoemehl. The topic under discussion was a bill that did not pass this past legislative session, the Betty Thompson Scholarship Bill (HB 639). The bill would have allowed individuals and businesses to receive tax credits for donations to certain non-profits established to give scholarships to students attending unaccredited schools. It also would allow grants for after school programs, tutorial assistance, and a second chance for drop-outs to obtain a GED. HB 639 was sponsored by Rep. Jane Cunningham (R-86), Rep. Ted Hoskins (D-80), and Rep. Rodney Hubbard (D-58).

Legislators join crowd at Jackson County Extension open house

Rep. Gary Dusenberg visits with MU Chancellor Brady Deaton.
Rep. Gary Dusenberg visits with MU
Chancellor Brady Deaton.

Rep. Gary Dusenberg (R-Blue Springs) and Rep. Bryan Pratt (R-Blue Springs) joined about 100 other guests at a celebration recognizing the opening of the new Jackson County University of Missouri Extension facilities in Blue Springs, June 22. The extension center, which also houses the West Central Region extension offices, is located on the Blue Springs campus of Blue River Community College. The Jackson County Extension Council worked with the Jackson County legislature to increase funding to extension to facilitate the increase in rent and moving expenses. Speaking at the event, MU Chancellor Brady Deaton noted that educational leaders worldwide are looking to extension to "bring the resources of our knowledge industry" in collaboration with K-12, community colleges and government partners "to communities with critical needs." Tom Henderson, interim vice provost and director of cooperative extension, said, "Partnerships are the bedrock, the backbone of what extension does."

University of Missouri testifies at Medicaid Reform Commission

Dr. Karen Edison testified before the state Medicaid Reform Commission on July 27. The Commission's topic was Information Technology's Role in Healthcare, which presented an opportunity for a discussion of telemedicine at the University of Missouri. Edison is the medical director of the Missouri Telehealth Network, and also serves as chair of UM Health Care's Department of Dermatology and co-director of the Center for Health Policy. [Read more…]

UM-Rolla receives federal funds for transportation center

Congress' passage of a new transportation bill July 29 means the University Transportation Center (UTC) at UM-Rolla will receive $16 million over the next five years to research critical national transportation issues. The research center is one of 10 in the nation to receive "national" status under the transportation bill. The new status means more support for the center, which was established in 1998 to build on the campus' infrastructure engineering programs. [Read more…]

Congressman Clay holds town hall meeting at UM-St. Louis

UMSL Chancellor Tom George, Rep. Chappelle-Nadal, Congressman Clay, and Rep. Gina Walsh.
UMSL Chancellor Tom George, Rep.
Chappelle-Nadal, Congressman Clay,
and Rep. Gina Walsh.

On July 11, Congressman William L. "Lacy" Clay (D-MO) held a town hall meeting at the Millennium Student Center on the UM-St. Louis campus. The discussion on social security was moderated by Julius Hunter, vice president of community relations at St. Louis University and former news anchor for KMOV Channel 4. Panel members included Rep. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D-University City); Rev. James Morris, of St. Louis Interfaith Partnership; Thomas Helton, executive board member of ASUM; and Margarida Jorge, director of Missourians United to Protect Social Services. Several hundred community members attended the meeting, which was followed by a reception with Clay.

Profile: Rep. John Quinn

Rep. John Quinn

Rep. John Quinn (R-Chillicothe), chair of the Appropriations/Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, attended Northwest State University and the University of Missouri-Columbia. "University of Missouri Extension provides a good service in our county. We need to make sure that Extension is not cut - it provides needed services in the rural areas of our state and certainly in my district," Quinn said. [Read more…]

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