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Jan. 29, 2010

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Federal relations

Higher education included in president’s State of the Union address

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President Barack Obama gives the State of the Union address in Washington. Photo courtesy of the White House.

During his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress this week, President Obama announced key ideas affecting higher education, including access, student loans, a jobs bill and a three-year freeze on domestic discretionary spending.

Obama urged Congress to pass legislation to end the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), a private sector student loan subsidy program. Additionally, he urged Congress to extend a $10,000 tax credit for four years of college and increase Pell Grants. Finally, Obama proposed limiting monthly student loan repayment amounts to ten percent above the basic income level.

White House officials announced the president’s FY11 budget will contain a three-year freeze on domestic discretionary spending. However, the proposed freeze will not be across the board and will not affect the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, veterans programs or foreign aid. Additionally, some education-related program budgets will increase, including student aid, Pell Grants and energy research.

State relations

Springfield area legislators participate in Extension workshop

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Reps. Norr, Lampe and Dixon visit during a break about the possible uses of the Web sites and programs on which they were trained during the MU Extension workshop.

University of Missouri Extension hosted a legislative workshop Jan. 16 in Springfield to provide information about economic, health, population and education data available from the university.

Participants included Reps. Sara Lampe (D-Springfield), Charlie Norr (D-Springfield), Shane Schoeller (R-Willard) and Bob Dixon (R-Springfield), as well as staff from the offices of U.S. Sen. Kit Bond and U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt.

Speakers included Tracey Greever-Rice, associate director of the Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis; Tom Johnson, director of the Community Policy Analysis Center; Chris Fulcher, co-director of the Center for Applied Research and Environmental Systems; and Mary Simon Leuci, MU Extension program director.

“I see some great applications for this information at the state level and in my own office,” said Rep. Sarah Lampe.

To see more photos from the event, click here [1].

Extension hosts annual Business Development Client Showcase

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Rep. Jim Viebrock (R-Billings) visits with constituents from the Springfield area.

University of Missouri Extension hosted its annual Business Development Client Showcase in Jefferson City Jan. 26-27. The event included a showcase featuring “Rising Stars of Innovation and Entrepreneurship” in the Capitol Rotunda, sponsored by Extension’s Small Business and Technology Development Centers (SBTDC) and the Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers.

Legislators attended a dinner Tuesday evening featuring several small business owners who told of their dreams of entrepreneurship, their business goals and how they accomplished those goals. Lawmakers then had the opportunity to view displays and meet with business owners during the Capital showcase Wednesday. Legislators heard about how the business development centers helped small business owners start their business, grow sales, create jobs, obtain government contracts and commercialize technology. Several legislators presented resolutions to their constituent participants in recognition of their success.

For more photos from this event, click here [2].

UMSL hosts breakfast for legislators

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The University of Missouri, in conjunction with the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Assoc., hosted a breakfast in Jefferson City for legislators on Jan. 27. Here, Chancellor Tom George greets Rep. Gina Walsh (D-St. Louis).

Columbia legislators discuss higher education with area alumni

Four members of the Columbia legislative delegation participated in a legislative forum on higher education sponsored by the Mizzou Alumni Association’s Boone County Chapter and the College of Arts and Science Alumni Chapter. The event, which attracted more than 50 alumni from the Columbia area, was held at Harpo’s in downtown Columbia.

Participants included Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) and Reps. Chris Kelly (D-Columbia), Stephen Webber (D-Columbia) and Paul Quinn (D-Monroe City). The legislators discussed the importance of protecting the university’s operating appropriation, supporting the bond issue for capital improvements and enacting changes to the state’s Access Missouri scholarship program to equalize award levels among students attending public and private institutions.

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Rep. Paul Quinn (left) visits with Michael Ouart of MU Extension.

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Sen. Kurt Schaefer discusses the state’s budget challenges.

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Rep. Stephen Webber talks about tax credits for health-related building projects.

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Rep. Chris Kelly reviews the capital improvement challenges facing Missouri.

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