Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

May 4, 2007

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.

After passing 7-1 in the Higher Education Committee, the bill was reported to the House Rules Committee, where it was taken up Wednesday, May 2. The committee agreed to a two-hour time limit on floor debate for the bill and then passed the legislation. The bill is now on the House Calendar for Senate Bills for Third Reading and is expected to be brought up for consideration early next week.

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