Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

September 15, 2005

Interim Committee on Higher Education Funding prepares for October hearings

The Interim Committee on Student-Based Higher Education Funding Reform Models held an organizational meeting Tuesday, Sept. 13 in Jefferson City to prepare for a series of hearings in October and November. The committee, chaired by Rep. Carl Bearden (R-St. Charles), will begin with a hearing on Monday, Oct. 10, at the University of Missouri-Columbia to focus on the four-year public institutions. Additional hearings will be held on Oct. 20 at Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff and Nov. 4 at a private institution with a location yet to be determined. The final committee meeting in Jefferson City is scheduled for December 12.

The committee is charged to “consider and report to the General Assembly prior to January 1, 2006 revisions to the mechanism by which funds are appropriated by the General Assembly and distributed to higher education institutions in Missouri. The Committee may also review and make recommendations on the methodology and configuration of scholarships, grants and other financial assistance provided to students attending accredited higher education institutions in Missouri.”

The committee is a response to legislation Bearden filed in the last session designed to revise how funds are allocated to higher education institutions. After concerns were raised in the higher education community and among other lawmakers about the impact of many of the recommendations, House Higher Education Committee Chair Gayle Kingery (R-Poplar Bluff), requested that a special panel be formed to review the details of the plan.

Bearden indicated that a draft report would be circulated prior to the Dec. 12 meeting and the final version would be completed shortly thereafter. Other committee members include Reps. Shannon Cooper (R-Clinton), Doug Ervin (R-Kearney), Tim Flook (R-Liberty), Esther Haywood (D-St. Louis), Steve Hunter (R-Joplin), Gayle Kingery (R-Poplar Bluff), Sara Lampe (D-Springfield), Beth Low (D-Kansas City), Scott Rupp (R-Wentzville) and Sue Schoemehl (D-St. Louis).

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