Lawmakers to return to Jefferson City for annual veto session Sept. 16
Missouri legislators will return to the Capitol Sept. 16 for the required session to provide opportunities to override any vetoes by the governor. An override requires a two-thirds vote in both chambers, and such efforts rarely succeed. This year, lawmakers could have a large number of measures to consider as Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed 33 bills, including all or part of 22 House bills and 11 Senate bills. Although there were a few budget bills vetoed that impacted higher education, none of them are expected to be overturned by lawmakers.
MOBIO tour makes several university stops
Several legislators attended the MOBIO tour of MU July 28, which included several stops at University of Missouri facilities. In the photo, Dr. Jamal Ibdah, senior associate dean for research, welcomes legislators to the MU School of Medicine. Other university stops included the MU Life Sciences Business Incubator at the MU Research Reactor, the Bond Life sciences Center, Ellis Fischel Cancer Center and ABC Laboratories. The tour also included a visit earlier in the week to UMKC School of Medicine. For additional photos from the event, click here.
Board of curators approve FY11 budget request, issue bonds
The University of Missouri Board of Curators approved the FY11 state appropriations request for the university’s operating and capital budgets during its July 24 meeting. The request includes a base appropriation of $451 million, the same amount received for FY 2010, and $43.6 million for health care and the other curator programs. Requests for new initiatives include:
- $19 million for compensation and increases in technology, infrastructure and on‐going costs
- $19.6 million for cost-to-continue expenses, including:
- $7.2 million for competitive faculty compensation
- $1.9 million for UMSL equity adjustment
- $8.5 million to support enrollment growth
- $2.0 million to sustain the joint UMKC/MSU pharmacy program
- $28.6 million for ongoing maintenance and repairs
- $1.8 million for UM Health Care to sustain quality and service and restore the base appropriation to the FY09 level
- $2.7 million for other curator programs and to restore the base appropriation to the FY09 level
The board also approved the FY11 capital appropriations request. Tier I state requests include:
- $50.3 million for MU College of Engineering reconstruction, additions and renovations
- $40.6 million for UMKC library renovation and interactive learning center addition
- $5 million for UM Health Care Missouri Rehabilitation Center upgrades
- $68.7 million for Missouri S&T Biological Sciences and Chemical Engineering building
- $63.1 million for UMSL Optometry/Nursing Complex
Additional details regarding the board's actions on capital priorities can be found here.
Nixon outlines autism legislation during Columbia stop
Gov. Jay Nixon discussed the guiding principles for legislation that would require insurance coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism and autism spectrum disorders during a press conference Aug. 6 at MU’s Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Similar legislation was debated during the 2009 legislative session, but failed to come to a final vote.
The governor urged the General Assembly to pass a bill during the 2010 legislative session that would guarantee coverage for the most effective forms of treatment and ensure that those covered are not denied or limited in their coverage. Legislators attending included Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) and Reps. Mary Still (D-Columbia) and Stephen Webber (D-Columbia).
Senate forms special committees to develop vision for health, jobs and education
Senate President Pro-Tem Charlie Shields (R-St. Joseph) announced the development of three special committees that will meet during the year to help develop long-range strategies to improve health care, jobs and education in Missouri. The committees are a result of resolutions passed by the Senate during the 2009 session.
The Job Creation 2020 Committee will be chaired by Sen. Tom Dempsey (R-St. Peters) and includes Sens. Brad Lager (R-Savannah), Jim Lembke (R-St. Louis), Ryan McKenna (D-Crystal City), Scott Rupp (R-Wentzville), Eric Schmitt (R-Glendale) and Robin Wright-Jones (D-St. Louis). This committee will develop long-term strategies for increasing economic opportunities to help existing businesses and attract new ones.
The Healthy Missourians 2020 Committee will be chaired by Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Glendale) and includes Sens. Frank Barnitz (D-Lake Spring), Tom Dempsey (R-St. Peters), Jolie Justus (D-Kansas City) and Brad Lager (R-Savannah). This panel will develop long-term strategies for health insurance coverage for the uninsured that engages employers, hospitals, physicians, insurance companies and the federal government in improving health care coverage.
The Educated Citizenry 2020 Committee will be chaired by Sen. David Pearce (R-Warrensburg) and includes Sens. Jane Cunningham (R-Chesterfield), Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia), Wes Shoemyer (D-Clarence), Jeff Smith (D-St. Louis) and Robin Wright-Jones (D-St. Louis). This committee will focus on improving academic achievement, high school degree completion and increasing the number of students pursuing a college education and successfully earning degrees that lead to jobs.
Governor appoints new student representative to board of curators
Gov. Jay Nixon appointed Laura Confer of Fenton to serve a two-year term as the student representative to the University of Missouri Board of Curators. The appointment was made June 1.
Confer just completed her sophomore year at Missouri University of Science and Technology and is studying to be a mechanical engineer. She replaces Tony Luetkemeyer.
MU Truman School of Public Affairs hosts P-20 Education Policy Conference
Political leaders, researchers and educators gathered in Columbia June 8-9 for a conference on P-20 education, including status reports on education and discussion about how better to coordinate and track progress of individual students from pre-kindergarten through graduate school. The conference was hosted by MU’s Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs.
Legislative panelists and participants included Sens. Yvonne Wilson (D-Kansas City), Jeff Smith (D-St. Louis) and Robin Wright Jones (D-St. Louis), as well as Reps. Gayle Kingery (R-Poplar Bluff) and Mary Still (D-Columbia).
Governor Visits UMKC to announce launch of Caring for Missourians
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon visited the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing to announce the launch of Caring for Missourians, a proposal for research funds that hopes to add more than 900 additional Missouri students to the health professional schools in the state. During his visit, the governor toured the School of Nursing, participated in a nursing class teleconference, and met with faculty, staff and students. Sens. Jolie Justus (D-Kansas City) and Reps. Shalonn “Kiki” Curls (D-Kansas City) and Roman LeBlanc (D-Kansas City) also were in attendance.
Caring for Missourians will help address the state’s shortage of health care professionals. During the 2009 legislative session, the general assembly approved $40 million in one-time funding for the program.
St. Louis Institute of Nanomedicine opens
The St. Louis Institute of Nanomedicine, funded by a grant from the Missouri Life Sciences Research Board, recently opened. Its mission is to advance the safe and effective use of nanotechnologies to reduce death and suffering from human disease and will develop unique approaches to foster collaborations between multinational industries and regional academic partners to grow the regional biotechnology enterprise. It is a joint venture sponsored by the University of Missouri Saint Louis, Washington University, Saint Louis University and the Plant and Life Sciences departments of St. Louis Community College.
Lawmakers participate in Jackson County open house for MU Extension
Several lawmakers participated in the open house of the new Jackson County MU Extension Center in Blue Springs June 2. Reps. Paul LeVota (D-Kansas City) and Gary Dusenberg (R- Blue Springs) were among the participants. The event included a ribbon cutting of a temporary location for the center, and officials talked about the new Mizzou Innovation Center that will be developed in Blue Springs.
“MU Extension’s presence at the Mizzou Innovation Center will serve as a launching pad for research-based educational programs to improve the quality of life for youth through adults and develop a highly competitive economy and workforce for the future,” said Michael Ouart, vice provost for Extension.
Legislators discuss library expansion project at UMKC
Sen. Jolie Justus (D-Kansas City), Rep. Michael Brown (D-Kansas City) and Rep. Beth Low (D-Kansas City) visited Miller Nichols Library at the University of Missouri-Kansas City to discuss the library expansion project.
The tours included stops in the Marr Sound Archives and the LaBudde special collections, as well as a discussion of the new Book Robot (an automated storage and retrieval system).
When completed, the library expansion project will include a new Interactive Learning Center Addition for educational and support space and will feature interactive, shared and multi-use spaces for collaborative learning, library instruction, and information technology.
Legislators attend community fair
Sen. Jeff Smith (D-St. Louis City) and Rep. Chris Carter (D-St. Louis) recently held a Community Fair and 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the city of St. Louis to focus on health care, literacy, nutrition and job opportunities.
The College of Optometry from the University of Missouri-Saint Louis provided a mobile eye unit and donated free screenings to visitors.
Caption: From left, Rep. Jamilah Nasheed (D-St. Louis), Sen. Jeff Smith (D-St. Louis) and Rep. Chris Carter (D-St. Louis) at the fair.
Congress breaks for August recess before returning to consider health care, energy policy
Members of Congress head back to their districts for the August break after continuing work on major issues such as energy policy, comprehensive health care reform and appropriations measures. The House has announced its health care reform plan, and the Senate is expected to take up the issue when it returns in September. Senators also approved the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice, Sonya Sotomayor, before leaving town. Missouri Sens. Kit Bond and Claire McCaskill both voted in favor of the confirmation.