Bill pre-filed to authorize capital bonding
The pre-filing of proposed legislation for the 2013 legislative session began on December 1, and Senator Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) has filed a resolution to authorize the issuance of bonds for state capital projects. Senate Joint Resolution 3  would amend the state constitution to provide the authority for a Fifth State Building Bond issue. If approved by the voters, the Board of Fund Commissioners would be authorized to issue bonds up to $950 million. Of the total amount, up to $250 million would provide funds for state projects, with at least $40 million of the $250 million being allocated to the maintenance of park and park facilities. The remainder of the bonds would provide funds for the construction, renovation, and rebuilding of capital projects at public institutions of higher education. At least 15 percent of the bond proceeds would have to be allocated to community colleges.
Freshman legislators visit UM campuses
Newly-elected legislators toured the state over the last two weeks to learn about departments, institutions, and businesses commonly impacted by lawmakers’ decisions. On December 4, the group had the opportunity to hear from Chancellor Leo Morton and visit the UMKC campus. The legislators then headed to Columbia for a men’s basketball game at Mizzou Arena and watched the tigers defeat Southeast Missouri State. On December 5, the group traveled to St. Louis and visited UMSL for a short presentation from Chancellor Tom George. While in St. Louis, the group also toured the Old North Grocery cooperative, which is affiliated with MU Extension. Freshman legislators will be sworn in on January 9, 2013, the first day of the legislative session.
November revenue numbers announced
The state Office of Administration announced November revenue numbers last week. Budget Director Linda Luebbering noted that year-to-date revenue collections for FY 2013 increased by 7.2 percent compared to last year at this time. Collections for November increased by 6 percent compared to November 2011. The current fiscal year budget was based on a consensus revenue estimate, or projected increase, of 3.9 percent. While these numbers are encouraging, FY 2013 year-to-date revenue collections are still approximately $600 million below collections in pre-recession FY 2008. Budget leaders are currently working on the FY 2014 budget, and they will collectively determine a new consensus revenue.
Joint Committee on Education considers new funding model
During the previous legislative session, lawmakers passed a bill requiring the Joint Committee on Education  to develop components for a new funding formula for higher education institutions by the end of 2013. The Joint Committee on Education, chaired by Senator David Pearce (R-Warrensburg), conducted hearings across the state this fall to gather input from higher education institutions. University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe testified at the committee’s November 14 meeting on the Missouri S&T campus. President Wolfe’s testimony can be found here . At its most recent meeting on Monday, December 10, the committee received recommendations from its Executive Director, Stacey Preis, on initial concepts to be considered in such a formula. See the following links for the Model Proposal  and Power Point Presentation  used by Executive Director Preis in her report.
The new concept includes taking a percentage of core funding and applying a performance measure. It also provides comparative data to other states and institutions and differentiates Missouri institutions based on mission. The committee has asked the higher education community for feedback by the end of December.
President Wolfe testifies at the November 14 hearing of the Joint Committee on Education.
Extension districting proposal on legislative agenda for 2013
MU’s State Extension Council is again seeking support from lawmakers in its attempts to make statutory changes allowing the formation of single- or multi-county Extension districts. This would streamline operations and provide more efficiencies in the delivery of Extension programming in the state’s 114 counties. Currently, Extension’s local organization is structured through county government, making multi-county operations difficult.
Senate Bill 9 , sponsored by Senator David Pearce (R-Warrensburg), is identical to legislation filed last year in the Senate and would make the necessary changes to allow the organization of Extension districts. Moreover, SB 9 also provides the option of local funding initiatives to support local programming. Similar legislation is expected to be pre-filed in the House.
Congressman Trent Franks visits MU
Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) visited MU on December 7. Franks is a member of the Armed Services Committee, and was invited to visit by Dr. Paul Pevsner, Adjunct Associate Professor of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences. Franks toured the College of Engineering, MU’s Research Reactor, and the College of Veterinary Medicine, focusing on research about electromagnetic pulses and how that research relates to national security.
Fiscal cliff talks continue on Capitol Hill
Negotiations between Congress and the White House regarding how to avoid what is being called the “fiscal cliff” are continuing. The discussion has centered around extending the Bush-era tax cuts, extending the Social Security payroll tax cut, avoiding sequestration spending cuts that would take effect on January 2, and extending other provisions set to expire on December 30. In July, President Wolfe and all four UM Chancellors signed a letter  with the Association of American Universities (AAU) and Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) to encourage a bipartisan fiscal agreement. More recently, MU Chancellor Brady Deaton teamed up with Bernadette Gray-Little, Chancellor of the University of Kansas, to publish a joint op-ed  encouraging Congress to reach a balanced deal.
More than 70 Missouri public officials and public officials-elect hold degrees from UM
As Congress and the state legislature prepare to convene in January, more than 70 members will have alumni status from one of the UM system campuses. Of the total 49 are alumni of the University of Missouri, 12 are alumni of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, 2 are alumni of Missouri University of Science and Technology, and 13 are alumni of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
The following Missouri public officials are alumni of the University of Missouri:
United States Congress: U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D), Congressman Sam Graves (R), Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R), Congressman Billy Long (R), and Congresswoman-Elect Ann Wagner (R).
Statewide Officeholders: Governor Jay Nixon (D), Lt. Governor Peter Kinder (R), and Attorney General Chris Koster (D).
Missouri State Senate: Senator Dan Brown (R), Senator Shalonn “Kiki” Curls (D), Senator-Elect Jason Holsman (D), Senator Brian Munzlinger (R), Senator David Pearce (R), Senator Scott Rupp (R), and Senator Kurt Schaefer (R).
Missouri House of Representatives: Rep. Sue Allen (R), Rep.-Elect Kevin Austin, Rep. Jason Barnes (R), Rep.-Elect Michael Butler (D), Rep.-Elect Robert Cornejo (R), Rep. Stanley Cox (R), Rep.-Elect Courtney Curtis (D), Rep. John Diehl (R), Rep. Rory Ellinger (D), Rep.-Elect Scott Fitzpatrick (R), Rep. Tom Flanigan (R), Rep. Keith Frederick (R), Rep. Don Gosen (R), Rep.-Elect Elijah Haahr (R), Rep. Marsha Haefner (R), Rep. Steve Hodges (D), Rep. Jay Houghton (R), Rep.-Elect Tom Hurst (R), Rep. Caleb Jones (R), Rep. Chris Kelly (D), Rep.-Elect Glen Kolkmeyer (R), Rep. Bart Korman (R), Rep. Donna Lichtenegger (R), Rep.-Elect Joe Don McGaugh (R), Rep. Chris Molendorp (R), Rep.-Elect Jim Neely (R), Rep. Jeanie Riddle (R), Rep.-Elect Caleb Rowden (R), Rep. Lyle Rowland (R), Rep. Jill Schupp (D), Rep.-Elect Noel Shull (R), Rep. Jason Smith (R), Rep.-Elect Nate Walker (R), Rep. Stephen Webber (D), and Rep. Paul Wieland (R).
The following Missouri public officials are alumni of the University of Missouri-Kansas City:
Missouri State Senate: Senator Jolie Justus (D) and Senator-Elect David Sater (R).
Missouri House of Representatives: Rep. Mike Cierpiot (R), Rep.-Elect Dean Dohrman (R), Rep.-Elect Randy Dunn (D), Rep. Rory Ellinger (D), Rep. Brandon Ellington (D), Rep. Kevin Elmer (R), Rep. Nick Marshall (R), Rep.-Elect Joe Don McGaugh (R), Rep. Judy Morgan (D), and Rep.-Elect Lynn Morris (R).
The following Missouri public officials are alumni of Missouri University of Science and Technology:
Missouri House of Representatives: Rep.-Elect Rocky Miller (R).
Missouri State Senate: Senator-Elect Ed Emery (R).
The following Missouri public officials are alumni of the University of Missouri-St. Louis:
Statewide Officeholders: Treasurer Clint Zweifel (D).
Missouri State Senate: Senator Joseph Keaveny (D).
Missouri House of Representatives: Rep. Paul Curtman (R), Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger (R), Rep.-Elect Gina Mitten (D), Rep. Genise Montecillo (D), Rep.-Elect Jeff Roorda (D), Rep. Jill Schupp (D), Rep. Chrissy Sommer (R), Rep.-Elect Bryan Spencer (R), Rep. Rick Stream (R), Rep. Rochelle Walton-Gray (D), and Rep. Paul Wieland (R).