February 24, 2017

STATE UPDATE:

Budget committee reviews higher education spending plan

On Tuesday, the House Budget Committee viewed the governor’s recommendations for HB 3 sponsored by Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick (R-Shell Knob), providing the Department of Higher Education (DHE) with the opportunity to go through each line. DHE Commissioner Zora Mulligan and her staff answered questions regarding core funding and several recurring budget lines that were zeroed out in the governor’s recommendations. They also discussed financial aid programs and answered questions about tuition policy.  Several legislators expressed concern that the governor cut funding for programs such as the MU School of Medicine Springfield Clinical Campus expansion, the UMKC-Missouri State University pharmacy partnership, and engineering partnerships provided by Missouri S&T.  The committee will continue to work on the bills through March.

In the same hearing, Attorney General Josh Hawley presented before the committee that the state is expected to receive more than $50 million in tobacco settlement funding. Governor Greitens announced later in the week that he plans to amend his budget recommendations to put the anticipated funding into home health services and transportation funding for elementary and secondary education.

Next Tuesday the budget will continue to be a topic in both chambers next Tuesday as the Senate Appropriations Committee reviews the higher education spending bill and the House Budget Committee takes up supplemental and capital expenditure proposals.  Also, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education will have an informational meeting on its bill markup plans.  We will anticipate revenue numbers late next week from the Office of Administration.

4-H Legislative Academy

The 4-H youth organization is one of many programs operated by MU Extension.  Each year, 4-H sponsors a Legislative Academy that provides an opportunity for 4-H teens to be ambassadors for Missouri 4-H and Extension. This week, a group of delegates selected from across the state were in Jefferson City to meet with executive, legislative and judicial state government leaders over a three day-period.  The students shared their 4-H experience while gaining leadership and citizenship skills.

Legislative Academy members with Lt. Governor Parson

This year’s Legislative Academy members and sponsors pictured with Lt. Governor Mike Parson.

FEDERAL UPDATE:

Congress is in recess this week.  There is no federal update.