March 9, 2012

FY 2013 budget passes House committee

The House Budget Committee passed all of the fiscal year 2013 budget bills on March 7thHB 2003 includes funding for the state’s public 2- and 4-year institutions at FY12 levels, which is a $106 million increase over the initial recommendation. The increase was made possible, in part, by a $40 million Governor’s amendment, a result of legal settlement funds which will be received by the state. The additional $66 million is the result of a number of modifications throughout the budget made by the Chairman, Ryan Silvey (R-Kansas City). 

The committee adopted an amendment to remove $300,000 from the University of Missouri’s operating budget and an amendment to add $3.5 million to the A+ scholarship program. The bills are expected to be debated on the House floor beginning March 19th, when the General Assembly returns from its legislative spring break.

House passes transfer and articulation legislation

A proposal to improve the process of transferring academic credit among institutions and strengthen the quality of remedial education passed the House of Representatives this week. HB 1042, sponsored by Rep. Mike Thomson (R-Maryville), would require the development of a 25-course library that would transfer among institutions. It also seeks use of best practices in remedial education courses offered primarily at community colleges in the state. SB 455, a similar bill sponsored by Sen. David Pearce (R-Warresnburg), has been adopted by the Senate and is awaiting committee assignment in the House.

Legislation to allow Extension districts introduced in House, Senate

MU’s State Extension Council is seeking a statutory change that would enable the organization to form optional local Extension districts to better provide local programming to citizens.  SB 865, sponsored by Sen. David Pearce (R-Warrensburg), and HB 1895, sponsored by Rep. Tom Loehner (R-Koeltztown), have been introduced to enact the changes needed to allow for the creation of single-county or multi-county Extension districts.

Formation of districts would enable  Extension to provide more streamlined and efficient services in many areas of the state, and would also enable the organization to place local tax levies on local ballots to support programming.

The Senate bill has been referred to the Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee, and the House bill has been referred to the House Agriculture Policy Committee.

Voting student curator legislation defeated in House committee

Legislation to replace a current member of the University of Missouri Board of Curators with a voting student was taken up and defeated by the House Higher Education Committee on March 6.  The committee first heard HB 1353, sponsored by Rep. Jill Schupp (D-Creve Coeur) which clarifies that one of the curator appointments “may” be a student. After that hearing, the committee took up that bill plus two other bills on the same topic  which were heard previously, HB 1257 sponsored by Rep. Chris Kelly (D-Columbia), and HB 1587 sponsored by Rep. Zachary Wyatt (R-Kirksville) both of which replace one current Board member with a voting student.  The committee defeated all three bills by a 4-7 vote.

In the Senate, SB 747 sponsored by Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia), was heard before the Senate Financial and Governmental Organizations Committee on March 5. This bill also would replace one of the current nine members of the Board of Curators with a voting student, with the first appointment designated to be a graduate or professional student for a two-year term. Several student organizations testified in support of the bill. Board of Curators Chairman David Bradley submitted a letter of opposition to the Senate Financial and Governmental Organizations Committee. To view Chairman Bradley’s letter, click here.

Senator Dan Brown visits with high school robotics teams on Missouri S&T campus

Sen. Dan Brown (R-Rolla) met with members of the Rolla High School Patriots robotics team during the FIRST Tech Challenge State Championship held at Missouri S&T on February 25. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1989 “to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders” through participation in various robotics programs. This is the second consecutive year that Missouri S&T has hosted the FIRST statewide championship.

Above: Missouri S&T Interim Chancellor Kent Wray (third from left) and Sen. Dan Brown (second from right) during the FIRST Tech Challenge State Championship.

UM Legislative Day to be held on April 3

UM Legislative Day, sponsored by the Alliance of Alumni Associations and Extension, will be held on April 3. Each of the UM campuses and MU Extension will showcase displays in the 3rd floor rotunda, and a rally will take place at approximately 9:30AM. Speakers at the rally will include UM President Tim Wolfe and Alumni Alliance Chairman Don Flora.

Click here for a brief schedule of the day’s events.

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