University of Missouri Legislative Update University of Missouri

Missouri voters elect new representatives, senator in special elections

In special elections held Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2005, Missouri voters elected one Democrat and one Republican to the House of Representatives and one Republication to the Senate, leaving the balance of the General Assembly unchanged. In the 94th House District, Kirkwood, Democrat Jane Bogetto won over Republican Moira Byrd to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Moira Byrd’s husband, Richard Byrd. Voters in House District 150 chose Republican Jason Smith of Salem over Democrat Bobby Simpson. Smith will succeed Democrat Frank Barnitz of Lake Spring, who won a special Senate election earlier this year. In Senate District 29, Rep. Jack Goodman (R-Mount Vernon) won over former representative Nolan McNeill. Goodman, who holds both a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a juris doctor degree from MU, will fill the seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Larry Gene Taylor. Goodman’s victory leaves his House seat open. Additional special elections will be held Feb. 7, 2006, to elect replacements for Rep. Harold Selby (D-Cedar Hill) and Rep. Jodi Stefanick (R-Ballwin), both of whom resigned to accept other positions.

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Higher education funding subcommittee hears from independent sector

The House Interim Committee on Student-Based Funding Formula Models conducted its third of four hearings on Friday, Nov. 4, 2005, at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, where committee members heard from representatives of the independent higher education sector. Committee chairman Rep. Carl Bearden (R-St. Charles) said he planned to circulate a draft of a committee report by Dec. 1, with a goal of having the committee meet Dec. 12 for final approval of the group’s findings. [Read more…]

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Colorado voters pass measure to temporarily stall spending limits

In recent years, lawmakers and voters in several states have pushed measures to limit state spending, in an effort to avoid large increases in state budgets seen in flush budget times that become major challenges in difficult fiscal times. In a turn of events this week, however, Colorado voters passed a ballot measure, 52 percent to 48 percent, to temporarily halt their revenue limit to avoid forcing the refund of $3.7 billion to taxpayers, which would have resulted in massive cuts to higher education and other state services. Missouri has been operating under its own version -- the Hancock revenue limit -- for more than two decades, which led to tax refunds for Missourians in the late 1990s when the economy was strong. [Read more…]

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ASUM celebrates its 30th anniversary

Rep. Jim Avery and Rep. Jeff Harris present a House resolution to ASUM
Rep. Jim Avery and Rep. Jeff Harris present a
House resolution to ASUM.

The Associated Students of the University of Missouri (ASUM) celebrated its 30th anniversary on Nov. 4, 2005. A reception and program was held at the MU Life Sciences Center with guest speakers Dr. Elson S. Floyd, UM President; Tom Atkins, President of the UM Board of Curators; Rob Monsees, Deputy Chief of Staff-Policy for Gov. Blunt and ASUM alumnus; Minority Leader Rep. Jeff Harris (D-Columbia); Rep. Jim Avery (R-Crestwood), an ASUM alumnus; Sen. Chuck Graham (D-Columbia); and Craig Kleine, ASUM Board Chair. Nearly 100 were in attendance as state House and Senate proclamations were presented, U.S. Congressional records were summarized, and a Governor’s Proclamation was presented by Rob Monsees on behalf of the governor. [Read more…]

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Medicaid Reform Commission holds final two meetings

The Medicaid Reform Commission met for its final two meetings on Wednesday, Nov. 9 and Thursday, Nov. 10, 2005. The commission narrowed its discussions to nine major topics to be included in its final report, due Jan. 1. Topics include access to quality care; provider participation and satisfaction; wellness, prevention and responsibility; mental health; pharmacy; eligibility; managed care; technology; and long term care. [Read more…]

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Sen. Bond announces funding for National Plant and Genetics Security Center at MU

U.S. Senator Christopher “Kit” Bond visited the University of Missouri-Columbia campus on Nov. 7, 2005, to announce $3.75 million in federal funds for the National Plant and Genetics Security Center, a U.S. Department of Agriculture facility. The funding is in addition to the almost $7.5 million Bond previously secured for the center. Funding will be used for planning and construction of the new Agriculture Research Service building, which will be adjacent to the Life Sciences Center. ARS research at UMC focuses on biological control of insects, cropping systems and water quality, and plant genetics.

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Express Scripts breaks ground at UMSL

UMSL Chancellor Tom George speaks at the ceremony
Above: UMSL Chancellor Tom George speaks at
the ceremony. Below: Officials from UMSL,
Express Scripts, St. Louis County and the
community join together for the groundbreaking.

The University of Missouri-St. Louis and Express Scripts, Inc. held a groundbreaking ceremony on the UMSL campus Nov. 2. Express Scripts, the nation’s largest pharmacy benefits manager, will build its national headquarters at a planned business, technology and research park being developed by UMSL along Interstate 70. The company’s relocation to the campus was a major collaboration involving the University, the state and the county. UMSL Chancellor Thomas F. George thanked President Floyd and other University officials for their work to make the project a reality. George said the move is “pilot project for the nation,” as Express Scripts will be highest-ranking Fortune 500 company with corporate headquarters on a university campus. Also speaking was Express Scripts President and CEO George Paz, who noted that the move was the best option for their company and employees, and thanked the governor for his efforts. In his remarks, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley stated the project was a vision involving the collaboration of many people, and would act as a stabilizing factor for North St. Louis County.

St. Louis

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Children’s Advocacy Center at UMSL honors elected officials

Sen. Chuck Gross and Sen. Pat Dougherty with Jerry Dunn Ph.D., executive director of the Children’s Advocacy Center.
Sen. Chuck Gross and Sen. Pat Dougherty with
Jerry Dunn Ph.D., executive director of the
Children's Advocacy Center.

The Weinman Children’s Advocacy Center at UM-St. Louis honored Sen. Chuck Gross (R-St. Charles), Chair of the Appropriations Committee, and Sen. Patrick Dougherty (D-St. Louis), member of the Appropriations Committee, at a reception Nov. 2. Both were recognized for their efforts on the Appropriations Committee to fund the center, which addresses the needs of children and families impacted by child abuse. The center is the only child advocacy center on a college campus in Missouri, and last year alone it handled 1,500 visits. In addition to providing medical assessments and therapy, the center provides community outreach and educational services. Other officials honored but unable to attend included Rep. Brad Lager (R-Maryville), Rep. Jodi Stefanick (R-Ballwin), Sen. Gary Nodler (R-Joplin), Sen. Jason Crowell (R-Cape Girardeau), Sen. Mike Gibbons (R-Kirkwood), and the Governor’s Office.

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