Governor announces proposed FY11 state budget
From left: Tom Ray, UMSL Chancellor Tom George, and Sandy Ray prepare for the governor’s State of the State address Jan. 20 in the House Gallery. The Rays have three children attending University of Missouri campuses and were introduced by the governor during his speech. Sandy is employed by the athletics department at UMSL.
Gov. Jay Nixon announced his plans for the FY11 state budget  during his State of the State address  Jan. 20. In discussing the tough budget challenges expected for the remainder of this year and next year, Nixon urged the legislature to work in a bipartisan manner for continued fiscal restraint. Public two- and four-year institutions entered into an agreement with the governor last fall to refrain from increasing tuition for in-state undergraduate students in exchange for no more than a 5.2 percent reduction in overall budgets. This resulted in a $7.7 million reduction for community colleges and a $42 million reduction for public four-year institutions.
Nixon recommended $427.9 million in funding for the University of Missouri System. This 5.2 percent reduction totals $23.5 million and removes the $24.2 million in one-time funding received in FY10 for Caring for Missourians. Most of the University of Missouri-related items, including the University Hospital, Missouri Rehabilitation Center, telehealth, MOREnet, Missouri Institute of Mental Health, Missouri Kidney Program and the State Historical Society, were cut between 15 percent and 35 percent.
Also announced Jan. 20 were additional expenditure reductions for the current fiscal year. The only UM program subject to these withholdings is MOREnet with a $1.9 million withholding. All of the governor’s recommendations for FY11 are subject to House and Senate review and approval.
From left, chair of the Mizzou Alumni Association’s Legislative Network Wally Pfeffer visits with MU Chancellor Brady Deaton and Director of Extension Michael Ouart during visits with legislators Jan. 20 in conjunction with the Governor’s State of the State and budget address.
UM curator appears before legislative committee
University of Missouri Curator David Bradley, left, appears with Sen. Brad Lager (R-Savannah) Jan. 20 after Bradley’s appearance before the Senate Gubernatorial Appointments Committee.
The appointments of both Bradley and Curator Wayne Goode were approved by the full senate this week.
Nixon visits MU to tout jobs plan
Gov. Jay Nixon stopped in Columbia Jan. 21 to discuss his new jobs plan at Newsy.com, a next-generation multimedia company near the Missouri School of Journalism.
Also visiting with him was state Director of Economic Development David D. Kerr, left, and Rep. Mary Still (D-Columbia).
Senate Education Committee hears from DESE on federal proposal
Members of the Senate Education Committee heard a detailed proposal Jan. 20 from Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro. The commissioner described a major reorganization in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s approach to overseeing schools in an effort to to secure federal funds from the “Race to the Top” initiative.
The state’s $750 million federal grant proposal includes adopting new national standards for classroom curriculum, rating teacher preparation programs based on success of teachers in class, enacting tougher standards for charter schools, improving the alignment of graduation requirements and college entrance requirements, and developing a quicker intervention plan for failing schools. Tt also includes significant expenditures to improve broadband Internet access.
Nicastro also noted plans to improve teacher training in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The state expects to hear a response on the federal proposal by April 1.
MU alum is ‘Doctor of the Day’
MU alum Dr. Michael J. Bukstein was ‘Doctor of the Day’ at the state capitol Jan. 21. He was escorted by Rep. Rachel Bringer (D-Palmyra). Bukstein is a surgeon in Hannibal and is a graduate of MU’s School of Medicine.
House majority floor leader leads policy discussion at MU
House Majority Floor Leader Steven Tilley (R-Perryville) stopped by the Truman School of Public Affairs at MU Jan. 21 to lead a discussion with a policy leadership class.
Tilley discussed his rise in leadership, policy issues at the federal and state level, and sought feedback from the students on a variety of issues.