January 24, 2012

Governor Nixon releases FY 2013 budget proposal, proposes 12.5% cut to higher education

On January 17th, Governor Jay Nixon addressed a joint session of the General Assembly to deliver his annual State of the State address.  Governor Nixon emphasized the state’s ongoing efforts to create more jobs and noted the continuing difficult budget situation. 

Following the speech, the Governor’s proposed budget for FY 2013 was released. In HB 3, which contains the Higher Education budget recommendation, the Governor recommended a 12.5 percent reduction to the core budgets of all higher education institutions, a $50 million reduction to the UM budget.

Interim President Steve Owens issued a statement following the FY13 budget news. To read the full statement, click here.

The General Assembly will now review the Governor’s proposal and make recommendations. The FY13 budget must be passed by May 11, 2012.

Cheryl B. Schrader named Missouri S&T chancellor, begins serving on April 2

On January 19, Dr. Cheryl B. Schrader was named the next Chancellor of Missouri S&T. Schrader is currently the associate vice president for strategic research initiatives at Boise State University. Before her current position, Schrader served as the engineering dean at Boise State. To view the entire press announcement for incoming Chancellor Schrader, click here. To learn more about Dr. Schrader’s background, click here.

Schrader will begin serving on April 2nd. She is replacing Interim Chancellor Kent Wray, who is serving on an interim basis for former Chancellor Jack Carney III, who retired in August.

Above: Dr. Cheryl Schrader speaking to the Missouri S&T community on January 19th. Photo courtesy of Missouri S&T.

President-Designate Timothy Wolfe meeting Missouri’s political leaders

UM President-Designate Timothy Wolfe has had the opportunity to visit with some of Missouri’s elected officials since being appointed UM President. Wolfe, who will begin serving as President on February 15, has spent time traveling the state meeting with campus, legislative, and community leaders.

Above from left to right: US Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), UM President-Designate Timothy Wolfe, and Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO).

Above: US Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) with UM President-Designate Timothy Wolfe.

Above: UM President-Designate Timothy Wolfe with Missouri Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. Wolfe was the keynote speaker for the Governor’s Conference on Agriculture.

Legislators recognize MU Extension’s Small Business & Technology Development Centers’ Rising Stars

On January 19, MU Extension’s Small Business & Technology Development Centers (SBTDC) showcased their award winning clients to legislators. The annual Rising Stars Banquet honored the achievements of outstanding SBTDC and Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC).

Elected officials recognizing the winners included Lt. Governor Peter Kinder (R-Cape Girardeau), Sens. Dan Brown (R-Rolla), Ron Richard (R-Joplin), Shalonn “KiKi” Curls (D-Kansas City), and Rep. Jerry Nolte (R-Gladstone).

Above: Tim Cantor of Frontier Environmental Technology, LLC, of Rolla with Senator Dan Brown. For more photos of the awardees, click here.

Legislative Black Caucus meets with MU Chancellor Brady Deaton

Members of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus came to Columbia to meet with MU Chancellor Brady Deaton and other campus leaders on Wednesday, January 18.  Legislators heard updates on the University’s mission of teaching, research, service and economic development and discussed a variety of higher education and state issues.   Legislators who participated in the meeting included Senator Shalonn “KiKi” Curls (D-Kansas City); Senator Robin Wright-Jones (D-St. Louis); and Representatives Brandon Ellington (D-Kansas City); Karla May (D-St. Louis); Sharon Pace (D-Northwoods); Tommie Pierson (D-St. Louis); Clem Smith (D-St. Louis); Sylvester Taylor (D-Florissant); Rochelle Walton Gray (D-Black Jack); Steve Webb (D-Florissant); and Gail McCann Beatty (D-Kansas City).

January 13, 2012

Governor to deliver State of the State Budget address Tuesday

Governor Jay Nixon will deliver the annual State of the State address during a televised joint session of the Missouri General Assembly beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday, January 17, from the House of Representatives Chamber.  Governor Nixon will outline his legislative priorities for the coming year and release details of his proposed budget for the next fiscal year.

The University of Missouri System will learn what the Governor is proposing for its operating budget, as well as University-related budget lines. Nixon’s recommendations for scholarship programs will also be revealed.

The Governor is airing the address live on the Official State website, to bookmark the page, click here.

Legislators introduce higher ed capital bills

Senator Tim Green (D-St. Louis) introduced SB 655 on January 12. The bill would create a Higher Education Capital Fund for the General Assembly to appropriate matching funds to public state universities or colleges for capital projects.

In order to receive the matching funds, a university or college must raise 50 percent of the cost of the capital project from private donations or grants. The General Assembly may then appropriate the remaining 50 percent. Institutions may not use operating budget funds, tuition, fees, or bond revenues to raise their portion of the capital project’s cost.

Also dealing with capital funding is HJR 57, introduced on January 12, by Rep. Chris Kelly (D-Columbia). The resolution proposes a constitutional amendment authorizing the General Assembly to issue bonds to fund higher education improvements, construction, landscaping, and land purchases. Similar legislation has been introduced the past three years.

House budget committee hears new budget proposal

Rep. Eric Burlison (R-Springfield) presented HJR 43, which proposes a constitutional amendment that would place certain limitations on state appropriations, to the House Budget committee on January 11. Provisions of the resolution would not apply until state revenues appropriated reach fiscal year 2008 levels. After reaching the growth target, specified percentages of additional monies would be directed to debt reduction, a budget reserve fund, and a cash operating fund. Should growth continue above specified amounts, a percentage of the growth would be returned to taxpayers.

If approved by the General Assembly, the resolution will be placed on the November 2012 ballot for voter approval. The resolution was voted out of committee and passed the Rules committee. It is now on the House formal perfection calendar, in line for floor debate.

Senate Education Committee considers legislation related to remedial education, course transfer

A bill to encourage improvements in remedial education and course transfer was taken up before the Senate Education Committee on January 11. SB 455, sponsored by committee chairman David Pearce (R-Warrensburg), called for development of best practices in remedial education and encouraged the Coordinating Board for Higher Education to work with the Committee on Transfer and Articulation (COTA) to develop a course transfer library of at least 25 lower division courses that are transferable among all public higher education institutions by 2014.

Testifying in support of the bill were the University of Central Missouri, Metropolitan Community College of Kansas City, and the Commissioner of Higher Education. The committee took no action on the bill. A companion bill, HB 1042, was introduced by Rep. Mike Thomson (R-Maryville) in the House.

Curator Appointee Craig Van Matre to receive Senate confirmation hearing

The Senate Gubernatorial Appointments committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Craig Van Matre on January 18.  Van Matre was appointed by Governor Nixon to serve on the University of Missouri Board of Curators when the legislature was not in session and must receive confirmation by the full Senate now that the legislative session has convened. The University is also awaiting confirmation hearings for Board appointee Pam Henrickson and the new student curator appointee, Amy Johnson.

Elected officials visit campuses

Representative Clem Smith (D-St. Louis) is shown in the biology lab in Benton-Stadler Hall with James Carroll and Doug Hammerstroem, Teaching Assistants in the UMSL Chemistry Department. 
From left to right: Representative Stephen Webber (D-Columbia) and Representative Caleb Jones (R-California) at the Columbia Chamber of Commerce legislative reception on January 12. Photo courtesy of Wally Pfeffer.

January 6, 2012

 Lawmakers kick off 2012 session facing budget challenges

Legislators returned to Jefferson City to begin the 2012 session on January 4, and the state’s continuing budget challenge was the main topic of discussion.  Leaders of both the Senate and House are beginning their final session in office and both gave opening-day remarks that outlined priorities of the majority party. Leaders from both parties also met with reporters following the speeches to answer questions and discuss more details of proposals.

Senate President Pro-tem Robert Mayer (R-Dexter), presided over the opening session of the Senate. He emphasized the importance of passing a balanced budget without a tax increase and protecting funding for education.  Mayer also outlined several priority initiatives related to economic development and government accountability. His remarks can be read here.

House Speaker Steven Tilley (R-Perryville), delivered his final opening day address as well. He outlined what he called his “Blueprint for Missouri” that includes a taxpayer protection amendment and a number of changes designed to create an economic climate that encourages job growth.  He also emphasized his commitment to funding education.Tilley’s remarks can be read here.

Bills filed thus far during the session are in the process of being referred to committees, with hearings expected to begin next week. Readers can keep up with new bills filed by going to the Senate or House web sites.

House Speaker Steve Tilley (R-Perryville) (center) speaks to reporters about the House Republican priorities for the upcoming session.

Above: Representative Mike Talboy (D-Kansas City)  speaks to reporters about the House Democrat priorities for the upcoming session.

December revenue numbers and Governor’s State of the State announced

The state’s budget director, Linda Luebbering, announced that FY 2012 general revenue collections to date increased 1.2 percent over the same period in FY 2011.  Net general revenue collections for the month of December 2011, however, decreased 2.1 percent compared to December 2010.

Director Luebbering also noted that the state’s General Revenue Fund borrowed $75 million for cash flow purposes from a Budget Reserve Fund.  According to the Missouri Constitution, these funds must be repaid by May 15th of this year. 

In related news, the Governor announced that he will deliver his State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, January 17th at 7:00 p.m.  At that time, the Governor will outline his proposed budget for fiscal year 2013 and his legislative priorities for the year.

Governor Nixon makes appointments to UM Board of Curators and Coordinating Board

On January 4, Governor Jay Nixon appointed Amy Johnson as the student representative to the Board of Curators. Johnson is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and is majoring in biology. She replaces outgoing student representative Laura Confer. Johnson’s term will end January 1, 2014. Johnson will now need Senate confirmation to begin her term. Nixon has also appointed Pam Henrickson and Craig Van Matre to the Board, both of whom must also receive Senate approval.

Nixon also appointed Brian Fogle of Springfield to the Coordinating Board for Higher Education. The nine-member board oversees the activities of the Missouri Department of Higher Education. Fogle is the president and CEO of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. Fogle was appointed for a term that ends June 27, 2012.

Governor Nixon’s appointments to the Boards can be found here.