Saline County Extension highlights partnerships

House Speaker Rod Jetton and Rep. Sam Page visit with UMKC Interim Provost Bruce Bubacz at the School of Medicine reception.

The Saline County Extension Council held its annual dinner meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 15 in Marshall to highlight the federal, state and local partnerships that are the hallmarks of University of Missouri Extension programs. Among the attendees was Rep. Joe Aull (D-Marshall), who serves on the House Education Appropriations Committee. In his remarks, Aull focused on the state’s role in providing funding for higher education and the importance of economic development. “If you want to attract industry to your community, you have to be more attractive than the next community,” Aull said, adding that the educational level of a community’s residents is a major factor in that attractiveness. The extension council, regional faculty and staff also celebrated the dedication of its new building, which was renovated with the support of the Saline County Commission. The new space is handicapped-accessible and includes two conference and meeting rooms for local classes, as well as upgraded offices. County Program Director Cynthia Crawford presided over a candle-lighting ceremony – one candle with four wicks – to represent the funding partnership. Other speakers included Everette Wood, director of the USDA Farm Service Center; Becky Plattner, presiding commissioner; County Extension Council Chair David Perkins; and MU Provost Brian Foster.

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President Floyd testifies before Senate Appropriations Committee

University of Missouri President Elson S. Floyd testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee, chaired by Sen. Chuck Gross (R-St. Charles), on Wednesday, Feb. 22. In his testimony, Floyd discussed the University’s FY07 operating budget request and responded to questions regarding University-related programs, including University of Missouri Health Care and MOREnet. The Senate Appropriations has now completed their testimony from higher education institutions.

In the House, Rep. Kathlyn Fares (R-Webster Groves), chair of the House Education Appropriations Committee, presented her committee’s fiscal recommendations to the full House Budget Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 21. The House Education Appropriations Committee had previously endorsed the governor’s recommended 2 percent increase for the University of Missouri. The House Budget Committee should make its recommendation in about two weeks.

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Mark your calendars: Legislative Day is March 15

Join the University of Missouri Alliance of Alumni Associations and Extension for the 32nd annual Legislative Day at the Missouri State Capitol, Wednesday, March 15, 2006, and help convey the University’s message to elected officials, stakeholders and other citizens. In addition to legislator visits, events include a University rally and a campus display showcase focused on economic development and innovation. For more information or to register, visit here.

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stateState Relations

Higher education scholarship and funding plan introduced in House

Rep. Carl Bearden (R-St. Charles), speaker pro-tem of the House, introduced HB1865 on Thursday, Feb. 23. The bill serves as a blueprint to update the way Missouri’s public higher education institutions are funded and to provide increased support for scholarships. The new legislation is an updated version of last year’s HB742, which generated considerable discussion in the higher education community but did not move out of either chamber. [Read more…]

House Higher Education Committee hears bill to replace curator with full-time student

The House Higher Education Committee heard two bills on Tuesday, Feb. 21 that would replace a current member of the University of Missouri Board of Curators with a full-time student. Rep. Bryan Pratt (R-Lee’s Summit), sponsor of HB1308, and Rep. Jim Avery (R-St. Louis), sponsor of HB1229, jointly testified before the committee that they plan to roll their two different bills into substitute legislation. Since Missouri’s Constitution limits the University’s governing board to nine members, the only way to make a voting member a full-time student is to replace one of the existing members with a student, which this legislation would do. Representatives of the Associated Students of the University of Missouri (ASUM) and Maria Curtis, the current student representative to the Board of Curators, spoke in favor of the measure. Steve Knorr, UM vice president for government relations, testified in opposition to reflect a Board of Curators resolution passed at its Jan. 27 meeting. A UM-St. Louis student also testified in opposition. The committee took no action on the bills.

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New information on Government Relations website

In addition to district data sheets and information on Legislative Day, the Government Relations website now has information on the Lewis & Clark Discovery Initiative, including the Board of Curators resolution, an economic impact analysis and more. Visit here for more information.

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icon question markLegislator Profile: Sen. Yvonne Wilson

Sen. Yvonne Wilson (D-Kansas City) understands the important role of education in a community’s economic development. Wilson continued her education at UM-Kansas City, while also working as an elementary school principal. In her current capacity as a state senator, she serves on the Education Committee and the Economic Development, Tourism and Local Government Committee. “The University of Missouri plays a tremendous and important role in economic development,” Wilson said. “When you talk about economic development, you start by talking about educating a workforce.” [Read more…]

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