Bill signing provides capital funding for UM projects
On Tuesday, Feb. 26, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, acting as Missouri governor, signed into law HB2019, which provides $31 million in funding for Ellis Fischel Cancer Center on the Columbia campus and $15 million for the Pharmacy and Nursing Building on the UMKC campus. Included in the new Ellis Fischel facility will be space for radiation oncology, expanded imaging capabilities, chemotherapy treatment, recovery areas, examination rooms and mid-Missouri’s only lymphedema center. The UMKC funding will go toward finishing shell space within the current building, which houses the School of Nursing and the School of Pharmacy.
“We are grateful to the House of Representatives and the Senate for their passage of this appropriation,” said University of Missouri President Gary D. Forsee. “Ellis Fischel and the UMKC facility are the University’s two remaining projects from the Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative, a bold proposal by Governor Matt Blunt. We appreciate the governor’s support of higher education.”
In Columbia, Kinder held a press conference at the University Hospital lobby. Speakers included University of Missouri President Gary Forsee, UM Health Care CEO Jim Ross and Bill Caldwell, director of Ellis Fischel. Also in attendance were MU Chancellor Brady Deaton, Rep. Ed Robb (R-Columbia) and Sen. Chuck Graham (D-Columbia).
Kinder also spoke in Kansas City at the shell space for the Pharmacy and Nursing Building, where Curator Warren Erdman, UMKC Chancellor Guy Bailey, Dean of Nursing Lora Lacey-Haun and Dean of Pharmacy Bob Piepho were among the guests.
Top: Sen. Mike Gibbons with Truman the Tiger. Bottom: The MU football team is recognized in the House.
MU football team visits Capitol to celebrate Cotton Bowl victory
The University of Missouri-Columbia football team, Coach Gary Pinkel and MU Chancellor Brady Deaton traveled to the Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 27, where they were recognized with resolutions in both the House and Senate for their Cotton Bowl victory on New Year’s Day. The Tigers received standing ovations in both chambers as they were recognized for their successful 2007 season, finishing No. 4 in the nation with a 12-2 record. In the Senate, MU mascot Truman the Tiger joined Senate President Pro Tem Mike Gibbons (R-Kirkwood) on the dais, and in the House, both sides of the aisle broke out in a MIZ-ZOU cheer. The team also posed for photos with the Cotton Bowl trophy and signed posters for fans.
Candidate filing opens
Candidate filing for the 2008 Missouri primary elections officially opened on Tuesday, Feb. 26. First day filers selected a number by random drawing to determine their placement on the primary ballot. Those filling for governor included Attorney General Jay Nixon (D), U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R-MO) and Treasurer Sarah Steelman (R). Filing continues until Tuesday, March 25. Information about the candidates who have filed can be found by visiting the Secretary of State’s website.
Three new members sworn into House
The Missouri House of Representatives swore in three new members on Tuesday, Feb. 26. Rep. Mary Kasten (R-Cape Girardeau) replaces Nathan Cooper. Kasten earlier served in the House from 1983 until 2001. Rep. Mark Parkinson (R-St. Charles County) won election to the seat previously held by Carl Bearden. Rep. Michele Kratky (D-St. Louis) fills a seat that had been held by her husband, Fred Kratky. With the new members, there are now 91 Republican House members and 70 Democratic members. Two seats remain vacant in districts 18 and 70. Elections for these open seats and all House seats will be held this November.
Senate passes bill to improve large animal veterinary medicine loan program
On Thursday, Feb. 28, the Senate passed SB942, a bill to make minor changes in the large animal veterinary medicine loan program enacted by lawmakers last year. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Dan Clemens (R-Marshfield), would allow students in the second, third and fourth year at MU’s College of Veterinary Medicine to receive up to $20,000 per year in loans that would be forgiven in exchange for agreeing to stay in Missouri after graduation and entering a large animal practice. Wording in the original bill limited it to those starting school as first year students next year. The bill also includes provisions exempting those called to military duty from penalties and ensuring that only Missouri residents are eligible for the program. The bill now goes to the House, where a similar measure received committee consideration last week. MU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, which has testified in support of the bill, is the only veterinary training institution in the state.
Legislative Day is next week
Don’t forget to join friends, alumni and supporters of the University of Missouri for the 34th annual Legislative Day next week. The Alliance of Alumni Associations and Extension will host the awards dinner on Tuesday, March 4. Honorees for outstanding alumni service include Congressman Kenny Hulshof, University of Missouri System; Rep. Judy Baker, MU; Freda Mendez Smith, UMKC; Rep. Steven Tilley, UMSL; Rep. Bob May, Missouri S&T; and Sen. Frank Barnitz, Extension. The University rally at the Capitol on Wednesday, March 5, will feature University of Missouri President Gary Forsee, Gov. Matt Blunt, Senate Appropriations Chair Gary Nodler (R-Joplin), and House Minority Floor Leader Paul LeVota (D-Independence).