Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

February 9, 2007

House Higher Education Committee hears proposal to increase Bright Flight scholarships, extend engineering grants

The House Higher Education Committee met on Tuesday, Feb. 6, to consider HB250, sponsored by Rep. Ed Robb (R-Columbia), to increase the amount of Bright Flight Scholarships. The committee also considered HB134, sponsored by Rep. Jim Guest (R-King City), which extends the sunset provision for equipment grants for engineering programs at the University of Missouri.

HB250 would increase the Bright Flight merit scholarship from $2,000 per year to $4,000 per year. The program, which was enacted in 1986 and was intended to provide enough funding to cover the cost of tuition, books and fees at the University of Missouri-Columbia, has not been increased in 20 years and has lost significant buying power, according to Robb. Since the University of Missouri receives a majority of Bright Flight scholars in the state, the proposal is supported by UM. MU Director of Financial Aid Joe Camille and students with the Associated Students of the University of Missouri (ASUM) testified in support of the bill.

HB134 extends the sunset provision for equipment grants for engineering programs at the University of Missouri to June 30, 2017. The program, which requires the University to request an amount based on the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded the previous year, has not been funded in several years but expires this June. The bill simply extends the grant authority for another ten years. Similar legislation was considered last year.

No action was taken on the measures.

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