Revenue collections for February announced, Budget Committee prepares to meet
Missouri’s Office of Budget and Planning announced  that 2011 fiscal year-to-date net general revenue collections increased 6.2 percent compared to 2010 and net general revenue collections for February 2011 increased by 5 percent compared to those for February 2010.
In related news, the House Budget committee met this week to review Appropriations subcommittee amendments to the 13 budget bills. Today, the committee will begin its review of House Committee Substitutes for each budget bill.
More than 50 UM undergraduates participate in Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol March 3
More than 50 undergraduate students from the four UM campuses came to Jefferson City on March 3 to present on research projects they are undertaking. The students developed posters about their research and gave brief presentations to Senators and Representatives about their work. The students were also introduced before the Missouri Senate and Missouri House of Representatives.
Representative Sally Faith (R-St. Charles), left, visited with UMSL student Maria McMillon (right) about her research on supporting mothers during pregnancy.
Senate, House committees forward curator selection legislation
Two identical bills designed to clarify the process of selecting members of the University of Missouri Board of Curators moved through Senate and House committees last week. The legislation is needed to address the impending loss of a congressional district in Missouri and modify statutes that currently allow no more than one curator from each district.
SB 163 , sponsored by Senator David Pearce (R-Warrensburg) and HB 174 , sponsored by Rep. Mike Thomson (R-Maryville) would allow “at least one but no more than two” curators from each congressional district. SB 163  was passed unanimously by the Senate Education Committee on March 2 and is on the Senate calendar for floor consideration. HB 174  was passed Monday, Feb. 28 by the House Rules Committee and is now on the calendar for floor consideration in the House.
Both bills also clarify the same process for members of the Missouri State University governing board and the Coordinating Board for Higher Education.
STEM bill passes Senate Education
A bill to create a program to encourage support for science, technology, engineering and math initiatives unanimously passed the Senate Education Committee last week. The bill, SB 164 , is sponsored by Senator David Pearce (R-Warrensburg). A similar bill was passed by the House Higher Education Committee last month. The University of Missouri is supporting the legislation because it can provide a state match for private or foundation funding for such activities as experiential science camps, scholarships, teacher training, hiring of additional faculty in STEM fields, and support for other related efforts.
Bill to allow limited dental teaching license heard before House committee
A bill supported by the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry to allow for a limited dental license for dentists who have been trained outside of the United States was heard on March 2nd before the House Committee on Professional Registration and Licensing. HB 591 , sponsored by Rep. Donna Lichtenegger (R-Cape Girardeau), would provide for limited licenses for dentists to practice as instructors in UMKC’s dental laboratory. The dentists would have to pass the same National Board exams, state or regional entry level competency exams and a written jurisprudence exam before they could be issued the limited license. Dr. Marsha Pyle, Dean of the UMKC School of Dentistry, testified in support of the bill.
MU Chancellor hosts dinner with members of the Legislative Black Caucus
MU Chancellor Brady Deaton and several top administrators at MU hosted a meeting with several members of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus on March 1, to hear campus updates and discuss various education issues.
From left to right: Deputy Chancellor Mike Middleton, Representative Steve Webb (D-Florissant), Senator-elect Shalonn”KiKi” Curls (D-Kansas City), MU Chancellor Brady Deaton, Representative Karla May (D-St. Louis), and Representative Tommie Pierson (D-St. Louis)
Redistricting process underway
Last week, Missouri received specific numbers from the Census Bureau regarding the 2010 Census. Missouri sustained a 7 percent population growth between 2000-2010, but will still lose one of its current 9 Congressional districts. The quickest growth came from the southwest part of the state, suburban St. Louis, and Boone County, all growing more than 25 percent
For a breakdown of county-by-county Missouri 2010 Census numbers, visit the US Census Bureau .
The Missouri House  and Senate  Redistricting Committees have begun hosting hearings for the public to attend and provide testimony across the state regarding the redistricting process. On March 11th, the last hearing will be held on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus at 12:30 in Room 106 of the University Center.
Lt. Governor Peter Kinder speaks at UMKC Law School
Lt. Governor Peter Kinder spoke to the UMKC Federalist Society on March 4. The Federalist Society includes both undergraduate and School of Law students.
Federal Relations update
Interim UM President Steve Owens visited with the Missouri Congressional delegation in Washington D.C. on March 1. President Owens’ trip focused on meeting the new members, discussing the search process for a new UM System President and UM federal funding priorities.
On March 2nd, President Obama signed a two-week continuing resolution (House Joint Res. 44 ) to fund the federal government through March 18th. This two-week CR cuts federal government spending by nearly $4 billion from the previous CR funding levels. About $1.2 billion in cuts are realized by terminating 8 non-defense programs that were not requested in President Obama’s FY2012 budget, and $2.7 billion is saved by eliminating almost 50 earmarked programs or projects.
Congressional leaders have begun meeting with Vice President Joe Biden to discuss how to fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year. Last month, the House passed H.R. 1  that would cut $61.5 billion from FY10 levels. In initial budgetary discussions, the Obama administration has proposed cutting $6.5 billion in spending.