Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

April 20, 2007

Legislator Profile: Rep. Tony George

On Thursday, April 19, the Senate gave initial approval to SB389, the omnibus higher education bill sponsored by Sen. Gary Nodler (R-Joplin), by a vote of 21-12. The bill includes the mechanism for MOHELA to provide funds for higher education capital projects across the state. During debate, lawmakers approved an amendment that expands and increases the Bright Flight scholarship program and requires institutions that receive MOHELA funds to ensure they are not employing any instructors or faculty who are required to register as sex offenders. After hours of debate and discussion of many amendments, Republicans forced a vote on the bill by using a maneuver known as moving the previous question to end debate.

Tony George

George was first elected in 2006 to the House, where he currently serves on the Insurance Policy Committee and the Special Committee on Utilities. Public service is a family tradition – George’s father, Tom George, was first elected to serve in the same seat in the House in 1998.

In addition to his legislative duties, George is a journeyman wireman employed by Sachs Electric.

“Missouri’s higher education institutions need to recognize that increased tuition costs may mean young people might think they can’t afford a college degree,” he said. “I know universities have worked hard to keep tuition affordable, but there is a perception with some people that it is expensive. The General Assembly needs to do its part, too.”

George’s district includes many residents who received their education at one of the four University of Missouri campuses. “Hopefully many of these young people – whether they are doctors, lawyers or teachers – will return to my district to work.”

“The University of Missouri has strong undergraduate programs and professional programs like medicine and nursing that are essential,” George said. “The research mission of the University also is a responsibility that sets UM apart from other institutions.”

“The University produces graduates that are necessary in all segments of our population, whether they be teachers, researchers or business owners,” he said. “We need educated leaders.”

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