Governor presents State of the State Address
Governor Jay Nixon delivered his State of the State address on January 28 before a joint session of the General Assembly. Click here  to read his full address. The Governor highlighted $34 million in new funding for higher education that will be based on how institutions meet certain established performance criteria. The University of Missouri System could receive up to $16.9 million in additional funding under this plan. In addition, the Governor recommended $394 million in core funding for UM’s operating budget. To see the higher education section of the Governor’s budget recommendations, click here .
The University of Missouri-related items, such as the Missouri Kidney Program and Telehealth, received a recommendation for flat funding and the State Historical Society received a recommended $400,000 increase to its appropriation. State scholarship programs were also held flat or had funding to carry over from the current fiscal year. The Governor recommended a $1 million increase to the A+ scholarship program.
The House budget subcommittees are currently meeting to review the various department budgets. This week, the House Appropriations – Education committee, chaired by Rep. Mike Lair (R-Chillicothe), met to hear from all of the 2- and 4-year public higher education institution Presidents or their designees. On January 30, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Nikki Krawitz, testified on behalf of the University of Missouri System. To see Vice President Krawitz’s testimony, click here , and click here  to see the slides from her presentation.
New Curators confirmed by Senate
On January 31, the state Senate confirmed Ann Covington of Columbia and John Phillips of Kansas City as the newest members of the University of Missouri Board of Curators. The two new board members were able to participate in board meetings going on this week in Kansas City. Covington was sponsored by Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) and Phillips was sponsored by Sen. Jason Holsman (D-Kansas City). Click here  to read a press release from the Governor’s Office about Ann Covington’s background and here  to read about John Phillips. Senator Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) (right) with Ann Covington (left). Senator Jason Holsman (D-Kansas City) (right) with John Phillips (left).
Senate Education Committee hears Extension districting legislation
On Wednesday, January 30, the Senate Education committee conducted a hearing on Senate Bill 9 , sponsored by Sen. David Pearce (R-Warrensburg) that gives MU Extension the option of forming single- or multi-county districts to support local programming. The bill is a priority of the State Extension Council and the University of Missouri. It would grant the statutory authority to create districts to improve efficiencies and would provide an optional tool to place local tax initiatives on the ballot to support Extension programming.
Testifying in support of the measure was the State Extension Council, MU Extension, Missouri Farm Bureau, Mizzou Legislative Network, Missouri Students Association, and the Mizzou Flagship Council. There was no opposition to the bill.
A companion bill in the House, House Bill 202 , will be heard before the House Agriculture Policy Committee on Tuesday, February 5, at noon.
Small Businesses honored by Extension partners
Twenty-two outstanding small Missouri businesses were honored before legislators at an awards banquet January 30 in Jefferson City. Sponsored by the statewide network of Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Centers  (MO SBTDC) through MU Extension, the Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers  (MO PTAC), and the Mid-America Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (TAAC), the highlighted the achievements of the programs’ top performing clients.
The annual awards recognize outstanding achievement in business management, government contracting, job creation, and revenue generation. Each Excellence in Business Award winner received legislative resolutions from their respective state Senators and Representatives honoring the impact of their enterprises on the economic development of the state. Displays in the Capitol Rotunda on Thursday, January 31 highlighted the accomplishments of the winners. Rep. Kathy Swan (R-Cape Girardeau) (center right) presents an Excellence in Business Award to Scott Pietreface (center left), who owns Fumatore di Sigaro, a premier cigar shop and lounge in Cape Girardeau. They are joined by Lauren Anne Cole (far left) and Counselor Richard Proffer of the Cape Girardeau County SBTDC Office in Jackson (far right).  Counselor Rebecca Nace of Blue Springs’ MU Extension Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (far left) and Mary Grimaud (far right) join Rep. Rick Stream (R-Kirkwood) (center left) as he presents Jerel Grimaud (center right) of Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures, Inc. with an Excellence in Business Award. Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures, Inc. is a manufacturer of awnings, canopies, tension structures, exhibit components, and banners in St. Louis.  Sen. Jason Holsman (D-Kansas City) (right) presents Matthew Hufft (left) with an Excellence in Business Award. Hufft is Founder and Creative Director of Hufft Projects, a world-renowned architectural and design firm in Kansas City.
Congress raises debt ceiling through May 18
On January 31, the Senate passed a short term extension of the debt ceiling, sending House Resolution 325  to President Obama for his signature. The bill extends the debt ceiling of the federal government through May 18. HR 325 also requires each chamber to pass a budget resolution for FY2014 by April 15, 2013.