November 4, 2011

Special session concludes without a jobs package, but MOSIRA did pass

Although legislators in the House and Senate were not able to come to an agreement on a large jobs bill that included a number of sought-after changes from both chambers, the legislators did take up and pass SB7, sponsored by Senate President Pro-Tem Rob Mayer (R-Dexter) which establishes the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act (MOSIRA).

The bill establishes a program to capture a portion of state income tax revenues for jobs created in the life science fields to be pooled into a fund to encourage additional startups and economic development in the emerging life sciences industry in the state.  It creates a new tool in the state’s tool box to foster economic development in the life sciences that will enhance work that the University of Missouri System and other institutions are also undertaking.

Governor Jay Nixon signed the legislation on October 21. However, the legislation included a section that made its enactment contingent on the passage of the larger economic development bill. Since that bill was not approved by lawmakers, there is some question as to the impact of the contingency clause to MOSIRA. The Governor indicated the issue would possibly be challenged in the courts but that he believed in the end MOSIRA would be enacted.

State releases revenue numbers for October

The Office of Administration has announced that 2012 fiscal year-to-date net general revenue collections increased 1.2 percent compared to FY11.  Net general revenue collections for the month of October, however, decreased by 1.3 percent compared to collections in October 2010.

Revenue numbers for the first quarter of this fiscal year were also released.  As of September 30th, state revenue receipts equaled $1.78 billion, a 1.9 percent increase compared to FY11. 

Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson visits Missouri S&T

In September, Eighth District Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) visited the Missouri S&T campus. Her visit included a meeting with Interim Chancellor Kent Wray, demonstrations in laboratories that she helped secure funding for, and the Fall Career Fair, where over 200 employers showcased jobs and performed interviews with students’ interested in those jobs.

Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson (center) with Dr. Greg Hilmas (left), Professor of Ceramic Engineering and Associate Chair for Graduate Programs, providing a demonstration of S&T’s lab work in ultra-high temperature materials for hypersonic aerospace vehicles.

Legislative staff tour MU

MU hosted a visit by several state legislative and U.S. congressional staff on October 27, to see facilities and learn more about how MU has set and handled record enrollment.  The group included staff from the appropriations and education committees as well as party, caucus, and congressional staff members.  The tour included visits to the College of Engineering, several athletic facilities, the Bond Life Sciences Center, residence halls, the Student Recreation Complex and the Student Center.

MU Chancellor Brady Deaton (far right) greeted and provided an overview of MU to legislative and congressional staff.

During the visit, Gary Link provided a tour of the Mizzou Arena, where the group took a photo at mid-court.

UMKC, MSU launch new joint pharmacy doctoral program

Governor Jay Nixon, Springfield area legislators, and leaders from UMKC and Missouri State University were on hand October 13 in Springfield to launch the new doctoral pharmacy program that will jointly operate between the schools. For more information, click here.

UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton signs the agreement to launch the new joint pharmacy program between UMKC and Missouri State University. Governor Jay Nixon is pictured on the far left and Interim UM President Steve Owens is directly behind Chancellor Morton.

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler visits Mizzou

Fourth District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) visited MU on October 28, to meet with MU Chancellor Brady Deaton and members of his senior leadership team and tour the College of Engineering to learn more about its federally funded research efforts. Hartzler, a MU alum, also visited the MU Veteran’s Center.   The Fourth District will include Boone County and Columbia when new district boundaries take effect for the elections in November 2012.

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (left) with Chancellor Brady Deaton during her visit to MU on October 28.

Urban Agriculture Hearing at Bradford Farm

Members of the Joint Committee on Urban Agriculture met at the MU Bradford Research Farm near Columbia in September to hear from area constituents about sustainable agriculture efforts, community gardening, MU Extension work with urban agriculture related topics, and to see the biofuels research garden.  Co-chairs Sen. Jim Lembke (R-St. Louis) and Rep. Jason Holsman (D-Kansas City) led the hearing that also featured several other legislators.

Sen. Jim Lembke (left) discusses locally-grown food with representatives from Red and Moe, a pizzeria in Columbia that uses local ingredients.