New interim president visits with lawmakers on Capital Hill

University of Missouri Interim President Dr. Gordon Lamb was on Capitol Hill this week to meet with members of Missouri’s Congressional delegation to discuss the accomplishments of the University and his role as the new interim president of UM. Lamb updated legislators on the status of federal and state priorities for the University and offered assistance to delegation members on federal higher education issues. Lamb visited with Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO). He also met with U.S. Reps. Lacy Clay (D-MO), Russ Carnahan (D-MO), Emanuel Cleaver II (D-MO), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO), and Kenny Hulshof (R-MO), as well as with the staffs of U.S. Reps. Ike Skelton (D-MO), Sam Graves (R-MO) and Todd Akin (R-MO). Lamb was appointed interim president early last month and will serve in this capacity until a new president is appointed.

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House prepares to debate omnibus higher education bill; Interim President Lamb testifies on SB389

After months of debate and negotiation before the Missouri Senate, the omnibus higher education bill that includes a partial sale of MOHELA assets, scholarships and financial aid improvements and tuition restraint is lined up for consideration on the House floor in the coming days. If the chamber adopts the Senate-passed version of the bill without amendments, the legislation could be on its way to the governor’s desk, where he has vowed to sign it quickly and enact it into law.

On Tuesday, May 1, the House Higher Education Committee, chaired by Rep. Gayle Kingery (R-Poplar Bluff), conducted a hearing on the bill. University of Missouri Interim President Gordon Lamb testified on SB389, praising the financial aid and capital improvements projects but also cautioning that the tuition restraint section and the elimination of two University of Missouri projects were concerns. Lamb noted that Gov. Matt Blunt had made a commitment earlier in the week to include those two eliminated UM projects in his supplemental budget bill to be introduced next session. [Read more…]

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Conference committee finishes work on University budget

The House/Senate Appropriations Conference Committee concluded their deliberations on House Bill 3, which contains the appropriations for the University of Missouri and the state’s public higher education institutions. The committee recommended $430.9 million for the University of Missouri for Fiscal Year 2008, or $100,000 more than the amount originally recommended by the governor. The Missouri Research and Education Network (MOREnet) received a $2.5 million boost. MOREnet is the state’s telecommunications network, managed by the University of Missouri, that provides computer services to the state’s public and private two- and four-year higher education institutions, all 524 public school districts and many of the public libraries. Appropriations to MOREnet were severely reduced several years ago during the state’s economic downturn. Also receiving significant increases were the State Historical Society located in Ellis Library at MU, $500,000, and the Missouri Rehabilitation Center in Mt. Vernon, a part of University of Missouri Health Care, $1.25 million.

Health-related legislation awaits governor’s signature

As the session draws to a close, a number of health-related bills have been truly agreed to by the legislature and are awaiting Gov. Matt Blunt’s signature. [Read more…]

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icon question markLegislator profile

Rep. Kathlyn Fares
Rep. Steve Hodges

Rep. Steve Hodges, Sr. (D-East Prairie) was first elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2006 to represent District 161, part of Cape Giradeau, Scott, Mississippi, Stoddard and New Madrid counties. Hodges received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southeast Missouri State University and his master’s of business administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia. “The Delta Center in southeast Missouri is a phenomenal asset to our area,” Hodges said. “The agricultural research they do there drives our local economy.” [Read more…]

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