Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

March 9, 2007

New project list for MOHELA proceeds released as part of supplemental appropriation

Legislative leaders released a revised list of higher education capital projects to be funded by the MOHELA revenues during a press conference Thursday, March 8. The new list removes those facilities that could have been used for stem cell research and redistributes the funds to a number of new projects. Although the projects had been incorporated in the omnibus higher education bill (SB389) in earlier versions, the new list will be included in the supplemental appropriations bill (HB16) that will be taken up by the Senate next week.

“The new set of projects fully funds important building and renovation projects on our campuses at St. Louis, Rolla and Kansas City and provides significant funding to improve facilities for Ellis Fischel Cancer Center in Columbia,” said University of Missouri President Elson S. Floyd. “It also provides additional funding to strengthen MU’s vital agricultural research mission across Missouri.”

MU still receives the largest single project amount – $31 million for a new cancer treatment facility for Ellis Fischel Cancer Center – but the $85 million health sciences center that had been in earlier project lists has been removed. The revised list of projects strengthens funding for projects at UMSL (additional $5 million for Benton-Stadler); UMR (additional $4 million for Toomey Hall); and UMKC ($15 million for Pharmacy & Nursing Building). More than $12 million in funding was added for agriculture research across the state, including $3.3 million for the Southwest Center. See a complete list of the original projects compared to the new list.

Sen. Gary Nodler (R-Joplin), Rep. Gayle Kingery (R-Poplar Bluff), and Greg Steinhoff, director of economic development, appeared at a press conference to talk with reporters and review the new plan. Nodler emphasized that the new list represents a legislative compromise that provides the best opportunity for passage since projects related to stem cell research have been removed.

The Senate Appropriations Committee will be considering HB16 early next week, and it is expected to be taken upon the Senate floor soon after.

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