April 6, 2012

Senate Appropriations committee considers budget

This week, the Senate Appropriations committee, chaired by Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) began its review of the FY 2013 budget bills.  During the review of HB 2003, the higher education appropriations bill, the committee elected to accept a majority of the House recommendations, including its recommendation that all 2- and 4-year public institutions receive the same funding as received in FY12.  For the University of Missouri, funding would be $398 million under the House plan.  The committee also elected to accept the House recommendations for level funding of the University of Missouri-related programs, such as the Missouri Telehealth Network and the Missouri Kidney Program, among others.  The Senate committee agreed to increase the State Historical Society’s appropriation by $200,000 to compensate for the Society’s assumption of responsibility for the Western Historical Manuscript Collection.  The committee plans to meet again on April 10th to review the remaining items open for debate and then vote on the bills.

Capital match legislation moving forward in the House

The House Higher Education committee this week adopted SB 655, sponsored by Senator Tim Green (D-St. Louis), that would create an option for a 50/50 capital funding partnership between the state and higher education institutions. The bill must now pass through the House Rules Committee before it can be debated on the House floor.

A similar bill, HB 1502 sponsored by Rep. Caleb Jones (R-California), has also been heard and passed by the House Higher Education committee.

Committees approve MU Extension legislation

This week, committees in both the Senate and House of Representatives voted on and passed legislation that would enable Extension Councils to form single- or multi-county Extension districts to increase efficiencies and improve local Extension programming. The bills would also enable established districts to place property tax questions on the local ballot to support local programming.  SB 865, sponsored by Sen. David Pearce (R-Warrensburg) was approved April 4 by the Senate Agriculture, Food Production, and Outdoor Resources Committee. HB 1895, sponsored by Rep. Tom Loehner (R-Koeltztown) was approved by the House Agriculture Policy Committee on April 5.

University of Missouri holds Legislative Day at the Capitol

More than 400 alumni, staff, and friends of the four campuses in the University of Missouri System and MU Extension converged on the state Capitol on April 3rd for the 38th annual Legislative Day.  The day is sponsored by the UM Alliance of Alumni Associations and Extension and involves visits with legislators, campus and Extension displays, and a rally.  Chairman of the Alliance, Don Flora, emceed the rally, which featured Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster and UM System President Tim Wolfe.  This year, all four Chancellors and the Vice Provost for Extension were also in attendance.  To see more photos of the Day, click here.

Above: Alumni Alliance Chair Don Flora (left), Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster (center), and UM President Tim Wolfe (right) during the Legislative Day rally on April 3.

MU basketball team visits Capitol, signs autographs for fans

Members of the Mizzou Men’s basketball team, along with head coach Frank Haith and the coaching staff, came to Jefferson City on April 3 to visit the Capitol and be guests of the Governor for a dinner in the Governor’s Mansion.  The group also featured UM President Tim Wolfe, MU Chancellor Brady Deaton and MU Director of Athletics Mike Alden.

Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) presented a resolution on behalf of the Senate to Coach Haith and a second resolution to the team recognizing the season.  In the House, Rep. Mary Still (D-Columbia) read and presented a resolution to the team on behalf of the Boone County legislative delegation. The team then autographed posters and basketballs for members and fans, and legislators posed for photos with Coach Haith and the Big 12 Conference championship trophy.

Following the legislative visits, the team and coaching staff had dinner with Governor Jay Nixon and his wife Georganne in the Governor’s Mansion.

Above: The MU basketball team with Sen. Rob Mayer, Sen. Kurt Schaefer, MU Athletic Director Mike Alden, and UM President Tim Wolfe. To view more photos of the MU Basketball team’s visit to the Capitol, click here.

Federal Relations Update

On March 30, President Barack Obama signed a 90-day extension of the federal highway and transportation bill. This extension allows Congress to negotiate a compromise in the varying bills currently in the U.S. House and Senate. Congress is working to pass a 2-year reauthorization. The last multi-year reauthorization of the highway bill was in 2005. Over the past several years, Missouri S&T’s University Transportation Center and MU have received funding from the transportation bill.

Congress is working through the budgetary process for FY13. The U.S. House passed a discretionary spending bill of $1.028 trillion on March 29, which is $19 billion less than required by the Budget Control Act. The Budget Control Act limits FY13 discretionary spending to $1.047 trillion or automatic cuts will occur. While the federal FY13 budget begins on October 1, the spending limits in the Budget Control Act take effect on January 1, 2013. Most of the funding that universities receive from the federal government comes from discretionary spending, including student financial aid, work study, Pell Grants, and funding throughout the agencies.

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