May 5, 2017

STATE UPDATE:

Legislature completes FY18 spending bills

Legislators completed work on the state’s FY18 budget and sent the bills to the Governor yesterday. Among the final negotiations on HB 3 for higher education was a decision to equalize core cuts among all public institutions, including the UM System, to 6.58 percent.

The final budget also provides funding for recurring programs, including:

  • $5 million for the MU School of Medicine Springfield Clinical Campus expansion
  • $3 million for a satellite dental school partnership between UMKC and Missouri Southern State University in Joplin; UM would receive $1 million of the total
  • $1 million for the ongoing pharmacy doctorate partnership between UMKC and Missouri State University
  • $1 million to launch a mechanical engineering partnership between Missouri S&T and Missouri State University; each institution would receive $500,000
  • $400,000 for expansion of the Project Lead the Way initiative at Missouri S&T
  • $400,000 for continuation of the UMKC Neighborhood Initiative
  • $450,000 for international collaboration at UMSL
  • $1.9 million for the telehealth network
  • $275,000 for water research at MU’s Greenley Research Center

The Legislature also completed work on the capital bills that provide funding for:

  • UMKC Downtown Arts campus – added $1 as a statement of intent
  • MU Applied Learning Center – added $1 as a statement of intent
  • Re-appropriated all other ongoing UM System 50-50 and maintenance and repair capital projects

Higher education degree approval legislation still awaiting passage in final week

Bills to codify the Department of Higher education’s degree approval task force report have yet to be approved by both chambers with one week to go in the session.  The agreement, supported by the UM system and all other public two- and four-year institutions, would clarify the level of degrees offered by each institution and outline a process for partnership and collaboration on joint degree offerings.  HB 758, sponsored by Rep. Steve Cookson (R-Poplar Bluff), is ready to be taken up and passed by the Senate.  In the House, another higher education bill, SB 355, sponsored by Senator Gary Romine (R-Farmington), is expected to become an omnibus higher education bill.  An amendment has been filed to add the degree approval language to that legislation as well.

FEDERAL UPDATE:

Congress passes FY 2017 Omnibus

This week, Congress passed an omnibus bill that provides increased funding for many of the federal science and education programs. The omnibus bill combines the twelve annual appropriation bills into one single bill and provides funding for the remainder of fiscal year which ends September 30, 2017. For higher education, the biggest increases went to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which received a $2 billion increase; the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), which received a $2 million increase; the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (APRA-E), which received a $15 million increase; and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), which received a $25 million increase.  Year-round Pell was also included, which will provide additional support for low-income students. Regarding decreases, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) received a two percent cut and Department of Defense 6.1 (basis research) also received a one percent cut.

Senator Blunt receives APLU Exemplary Member of Congress award

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Council on Governmental Affairs (CGA) presented Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) with the Exemplary Member of Congress award.  Senator Blunt received the award for his support and championship of funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and year-round Pell grants in the FY 2017 omnibus bill.

Senator Blunt receives award

Pictured: Peter McPherson, APLU President; Stacy Rastauskas, Associate Vice President for the Ohio State University and past CGA Chair; Meghan Schmidtlein, Assistant Director of Federal Relations, UM System; Senator Blunt; Sarah Spreitzer, Director of Federal Relations, UM System; Mike Frame, Vice President of External Relations, SUNY Polytechnic Institute and CGA Chair.

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