January 13, 2006
In this issue:
- Governor recommends 2 percent budget increase for UM
- Student financial aid program included in governor’s budget
- Health care issues addressed in State of the State
- Senate & House Appropriations committees hold first meetings
- Education committees meet to hear about Higher Education Compact
- Budget chair Allen Icet visits MU
- Did You Know: Bill status reports available online
- Profile: Rep. Wes Shoemyer
Gov. Matt Blunt has recommended the University of Missouri receive a 2 percent core budget increase, or approximately $8 million, for a Fiscal Year 2007 total appropriation of $410.5 million. University of Missouri President Elson S. Floyd called the recommendation “very good news for Missouri public higher education. We deeply appreciate Governor Blunt’s ongoing commitment to higher education,” Floyd said. “We in turn will continue our commitment to providing the best and most affordable education possible for Missouri’s students.” [Read more…]
Gov. Matt Blunt’s budget includes additional dollars for student financial aid through the A+ program. High school students who graduate from a qualified A+ program and meet the requirements for the scholarship can attend a public community college tuition-free. Blunt’s FY07 budget increases the amount of funding for this program by $1.8 million. “This will allow additional Missouri young people to attend community college and acquire the skills they need to be competitive in today’s global economy,” Blunt said.
Gov. Matt Blunt recognized the state’s current health care issues in his State of the State address. For FY07, he recommended $275 million in additional funding to sustain Medicaid’s current commitments in providing health care for 16 percent of Missouri’s citizens. This year Medicaid will represent 29 percent of the entire budget. He also recommended an additional $700,000 for Federally Qualified Health Centers. In addition, the governor will create a Healthcare Information Technology Task Force to “recommend ways to harness technology to make better care decisions for patients, which will lead to better results at reduced costs.” As part of this initiative, he recommended the creation of a Healthcare Technology Fund with $25 million in initial funding. The fund will help keep technology in the forefront of healthcare delivery services and will involve multi-year projects and programs.
The Senate Appropriations Committee, chaired by Sen. Chuck Gross (R-St. Charles), convened with an organizational meeting on Thursday, Jan. 5. The committee then followed with public testimony from the Departments of Mental Health, Social Services, and Health and Senior Services. On Tuesday, Jan. 17, the committee will hold an overview of the governor’s budget. Public hearings for higher education will be held on Thursday, Jan. 19. The House Appropriations-Education Committee, chaired by Rep. Kathlyn Fares (R-Webster Groves), held its first meeting on Jan. 11, with a presentation of the new foundation formula from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The committee will hold public testimony beginning Tuesday, Jan. 17.
Legislators from the Senate Education Committee, House Higher Education Committee, and House Appropriations-Education Committee all gathered on Tuesday, Jan. 10, for an update on Missouri’s participation in the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, or MHEC. Missouri is among 11 states that make up the organization, and UM-St. Louis Chancellor Tom George is one of the five commissioners serving from Missouri. The state appropriates about $90,000 per year to participate in the program. [Read more…]
Rep. Allen Icet (right) looks on as MU Chancellor
Brady Deaton gives an overview of MU.
Rep. Allen Icet (R-Wildwood), who was recently named chairman of the House Budget Committee, visited MU on Thursday, Jan. 12 to meet with University leaders and learn more about the FY07 budget request. Icet met with MU Chancellor Brady Deaton, Provost Brian Foster, Vice Provost for Research Jim Coleman, and other leaders for an overview of the MU campus. He also reviewed the University’s budget with Nikki Krawitz, UM Vice President for Finance and Administration, and Ken Hutchinson, UM Vice President for Human Resources. The tour concluded with a visit to MU’s School of Medicine to learn more about the proposed Health Sciences Research Center. Icet has four children; his daughter Sarah is a second year law student at MU, and his daughter Melissa graduated from MU in December with a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology.
Keep track of bills on the Government Relations website, which posts bill status reports on topics of interest to the University, from appropriations, health care issues and more. The bill reports are updated nightly.
Rep. Wes Shoemyer (D-Clarence) attended the University of Missouri-Columbia for its agriculture associate degree, a two-year program that no longer exists. “I tell people they did such a good job in one year that I didn’t have to come back,” he said. “It was a good experience for me and I learned a great deal, but I had a farm back home that was calling so I went back to farm.” Shoemyer has owned and operated a family farm in Monroe County for 20 years. [Read more…]
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