House Budget Committee to vote out budget bills next week
After meeting throughout the week to review House Committee Substitutes of the 13 budget bills, the House Budget Committee plans a final review of the bills next week and will then vote the bills out of committee in preparation for House floor debate. The current version of HB 3, the higher education appropriations bill, includes the Governor’s recommended 7 percent reduction in the core operating appropriation for each 2-year and 4-year institution. For the University of Missouri, the proposed reduction would mean a core appropriation of $398.2 million for FY2012. The bill also includes $12 million for the “Preparing to Care” program, which would provide one-time funds for a competitive grant program for health professional schools, similar to the Caring for Missourians funding received in FY2010.
Appropriations for the University of Missouri-related programs currently remain as the Governor has proposed, with zeroed appropriations for MOREnet, University Hospitals and Clinics, and the Missouri Institute of Mental Health. The Missouri Telehealth line item would be reduced and the Missouri Kidney Program, Missouri Rehabilitation Center, and the State Historical Society would receive flat funding.
Curator selection bills move ahead in both chambers
This week the House approved HB 174, sponsored by Rep. Mike Thomson (R-Maryville), to clarify the process of appointing curators in light of the state’s loss of a congressional district. The bill calls for “at least one but no more than two” appointments from each of Missouri’s remaining 8 districts, allowing for two appointments from one of the districts to keep the total at the constitutionally defined number of 9 members. The bill was given first-round approval on March 7 and was then given final approval on March 10 with a 142-12 vote. The bill will now go to the Senate for consideration.
During floor debate, an amendment was offered by Rep. Mary Still (D-Columbia) to make the ninth member a voting student. That amendment failed by a 53-99 vote.
In related action, this week the Senate took up and perfected SB 163, a bill that includes the same curator language as in HB 174 and sponsored by Senator David Pearce (R-Warrensburg). During floor debate on March 9, an amendment was added to change wording within the section of the bill relating to the Coordinating Board for Higher Education. Senator Tim Green (D-St. Louis) offered the amendment to take the word “coordinating” out of all references to the Coordinating Board. That amendment passed on a voice vote and then the amended bill received first round approval on a voice vote. It must be third read and passed with a final vote before moving to the House.
Former Senator Bond recognized with endowed lecture in his honor
On March 7, MU announced the creation of the Christopher S. “Kit” Bond Distinguished Lecture Series. With more than $1.3 million raised by friends and colleagues, a lecture series will be formed to provide a forum for nationally and internationally recognized leaders to explore issues of economics, science, politics, and security policy.
Speakers will be chosen by a special committee appointed by the Chancellor, and lectures will occur in various places across Missouri. The endowment establishes a tribute to Senator Bond for his advocacy for higher education and his service to Missouri.
MU doctors serve as Doctor of the Day for MO General Assembly
Each day the Missouri General Assembly convenes, a physician is selected by the Missouri State Medical Association to serve as Doctor of the Day. The Doctor of the Day is introduced in the House and Senate and spends the day visiting with lawmakers on health issues. They also serve as a doctor on call for any medical emergencies that may occur in the building. Several of the volunteers this year have been University of Missouri doctors.
Above: Dr. Nicholas Golda, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at MU, served as the Doctor of the Day in the Missouri General Assembly.
Above: Dr. Dean Hainsworth, Professor of Ophthalmology at MU, serving as the Doctor of the Day in the Missouri General Assembly.