April 17, 2009

A publication of the University of Missouri Office of Government Relations

Legislative Update

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Senate passes budget, bills move to conference

The Senate passed HB 3 this week, and the Senate and House of Representatives will now appoint individual conferees to Conference Committees to resolve the differences in recommendations. Conference committees should begin next week.

Both the House and Senate's recommendations for the University of Missouri are nearly identical. Some differences exist in the funding of maintenance and repair of university buildings. The Senate included their recommendations in HB3, while the House will fund this expense in the capital improvements bill, HB18. A compromise will be reached within the next two weeks.

House introduces federal stimulus bills

Chair of the House Budget Committee Allen Icet (R-Wildwood) introduced a number of bills during the last week that utilize federal stabilization and stimulus funds for maintenance and repair and capital improvements. These include:

  • HB 15 appropriates federal stabilization funds that will be available during the current fiscal year.
  • HB 18 appropriates funds for maintenance and repair, including those at higher education institutions. The introduced version of this bill recommends $35 million for the University of Missouri, which is lower than that recommended for the other public higher education institutions. An amendment is expected to make the amounts among all institutions more equitable.
  • HB 19 recommends funding for capital improvement projects. This bill includes the remaining unfunded Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative projects, including Ellis Fischel Cancer Center at MU, Benton and Stadler Halls at UMSL, and a number of UM research and education facilities throughout the state.
  • HB 20 includes a one-time funding recommendation of $10 million for the Caring for Missourians proposal, which would be distributed among all public two- and four-year higher education institutions.
  • HB 21 contains funding recommendations for other capital improvement, planning, renovation and expenses for a number of state departments. This bill may also contain higher education-related funding opportunities.

MU men's basketball team recognized before House, Senate

The Big-12 champion and Elite Eight Mizzou Tiger men's basketball team was honored April 14 before the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives for its successful season. Team members and coaching staff, along with MU Chancellor Brady Deaton and Director of Athletics Mike Alden came to the Senate for recognition and a resolution presented by Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia).

In the House, the Boone County legislative delegation Reps. Mary Still, Chris Kelly, Paul Quinn, Steve Hobbs and Stephen Webber presented a resolution on behalf of the entire House. Coach Mike Anderson was invited to speak to both bodies and thanked the legislature for their service to the state and support of the university and the team.

Team members autographed posters and basketballs for legislators and fans in the Rotunda before enjoying dinner in the Governor's Mansion as guests of Gov. Jay Nixon and his wife Georgeanne.

For additional photos of the team's visit, click here.

Alumni Alliance to honor outstanding alumni

The University of Missouri Alliance of Alumni Associations and Extension will honor six individuals for service to the university at its 2009 Outstanding Alumni Service Awards dinner April 21 in Jefferson City, Mo.

  • Outstanding Alumni Service to the University of Missouri System: U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill. Sen.McCaskill has served the state of Missouri since graduating from the university, first in the Missouri Court of Appeals, then as an assistant prosecutor in Kansas City. She has been extremely supportive of the University of Missouri System during her tenure in the General Assembly and as state auditor, particularly at UMKC while serving as assistant prosecutor. As a U.S. senator, she has represented the interests of the university and the state of Missouri in Washington, D.C.

  • Outstanding Alumni Service to the University of Missouri-Columbia: Representative Bryan Pratt. First elected to the House in 2002, Rep. Pratt serves as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and speaker pro tem. As a member of the House, he has focused on tax relief, eminent domain, immigration and economic development. He has received the prestigious Henry S. Geyer Award from the Missouri Legislative Network of the Mizzou Alumni Association, which recognizes public officials and citizens who have made a positive contribution to higher education in Missouri.

  • Outstanding Alumni Service to the University of Missouri-Kansas City: Dr. Reaner Shannon. Dr. Shannon has been involved with UMKC for more than three decades; first as a student, receiving a master's degree and a doctorate of education, than as an educator and advocate for minority students interested in the School of Medicine. In myriad ways Dr. Shannon's service and generosity have helped strengthen the connections between the UMKC School of Medicine and gifted minority students. Though she retired from the university in 2008, Dr. Shannon continues to tirelessly promote the importance of education for the next generation of students by participating in various community service activities, such as youth reading programs. Thanks to her efforts, countless young people have been able to pursue their dream of a career in health care.

  • Outstanding Alumni Service to the University of Missouri-St. Louis: Representative Rick Stream. As a UMSL graduate, Rep. Stream has demonstrated his continued support of the university, and the St. Louis campus in particular. First elected to the Missouri House in 2006, he currently serves as vice chair on the House Budget Committee. Representative Stream has also been named Outstanding Legislator by his peers.

  • Outstanding Alumni Service to the Missouri University of Science and Technology: Darlene Ramsay. Ms. Ramsay earned a bachelor's degree in metallurgical engineering from Missouri S&T, formerly the University of Missouri-Rolla. Prior to her position as director of advancement services, Ramsey served as a research specialist at Missouri S&T's center for materials research. She is a past president of the Miner Alumni Association and has served on the Missouri S&T board of trustees. She is currently a member of the University of Missouri System's Alumni Alliance and the Order of the Golden Shillelagh. Additionally, she serves as co-chair of the scholarship committee of the Women's Auxiliary to the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers and recruitment and panhellenic advisor for Chi Omega sorority. Ramsay was honored as "Advisor of the Year" by the Order of the Omega and is also a member of Missouri S&T's speakers' bureau.

  • Outstanding Alumni Service to Missouri Extension: Sam Hawkins. Mr. Hawkins has chaired the University of Missouri Extension State Council since 2004. As chair, he oversees the 11-member state council, which provides support and advocacy at all levels of government for Extension programs at the University of Missouri and Lincoln University. Prior to his position as council chair, Mr. Hawkins chaired the Shelby County Extension Council and the Northeast Regional Extension Council. He also served as co-chair of the MU Extension County Council Leadership Development Committee and as a member of the MU Extension Business Development Advisory Board. He has been an active member of the University of Missouri Alumni Alliance for more than a decade.

Getting energized: Missouri Energy Summit to feature prominent energy leaders

There is energy in the air as the four campuses of the University of Missouri System prepare for the first-ever Missouri Energy Summit April 22-23 on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus.

Designed to focus on "all things energy," the summit includes an impressive lineup of state and national speakers on topics ranging from energy policy and research to energy, security, management and consumption. T. Boone Pickens, a visionary in our nation's future energy strategy, will serve as the keynote speaker April 22. More information on the summit can be found at www.missourisummits.com.

Select portions of the summit are being extended to schools and libraries across Missouri through the Missouri Research and Education Network (MOREnet), one of the nation's first statewide research and education networks. MOREnet will provide a live video stream of most summit speakers so students and others in Missouri can use the presentations for class discussions and enhanced learning opportunities.

Legislators are invited to attend a live video stream of Pickens presentation from noon-1 p.m. Wednesday April 22 in SCR 2.

Vice President Biden visits UMSL

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, visited the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus Friday morning for a meeting on "Making College More Affordable for our Families." Mrs. Biden opened the forum with remarks about the role community colleges play in the transition to the four year colleges. She teaches English at Northern Virginia Community College.

This was the third in a series of meetings the vice president and his Middle Class Task Force members are holding across the country on key issues facing the middle class. Friday's forum was about access and affordability to higher education for families. The event was attended by students, faculty, parents and higher education officials from the St. Louis area.

Accompanying the vice president were Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Cecilia Rouse, a member of the President's Council of Economic Advisors.

MU students meet with Sen. Bond

U.S. Sen. Kit Bond met with MU's Missouri Students Association President Jordan Paul and Vice President Colleen Hoffmann, as well as Associated Students of the University of Missouri federal intern Jumoke Balogun. Bond and the student leaders discussed higher education issues, including the access to and affordability of student loans, study abroad opportunities and federal funding, the stimulus' potential affect on higher education, and the Missouri Tigers recent NCAA Tournament run to the Elite Eight. Paul is a senior majoring in history who has interned for Congressman Ike Skelton; Hoffmann is a junior business major with an emphasis in finance, and Balogun is a senior majoring in women's studies.

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