Monday the legislature was off in observance of the Easter holiday.
On Tuesday the House and Senate went into session at 4:00 p.m. The Missouri Senate Third Read Senator Holly Rehder’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program legislation, SB 63. The bill now heads to the House to be heard in Committee. Following the vote on PDMP, the Senate took up the Todd Graves nomination to the Board of Curators. The confirmation took the full Senate into the early morning hours on Wednesday before the nomination was finally approved. Mr. Graves replaces Curator Phil Snowden in the 6th District.
Additionally on Tuesday, voters from House District 45, formerly Rep. Kip Kendrick’s district, voted democrat David Tyson Smith, an attorney from Columbia to the Missouri House in a special election.
The Senate Appropriations Committee announced their plan to do markup during the week of April 19, 2021. The Missouri Constitution requires that the budget appropriations bills be completed by the second Friday before the end of session, which this year will be May 7th. The last day of session is May 14th.
On Thursday, the House perfected and passed House Bill 297. House Bill 297, sponsored by Wayne Wallingford, which would allow Southeast Missouri State University to develop a statewide mission, was sent to legislative review committee last week, and they met Tuesday to roll several amendments into the bill language to create a House Substitute. In addition to the original language included in HB 297, members included some key language listed below:
House Bill 856, sponsored by Rep. Richey, would remove the cap that is currently placed on tuition for public universities. The bill requires public institutions that utilize differentiated tuition to notify the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development and to no longer administer required course fees. This is one of the top priorities for the University of Missouri System, as it would allow our institutions the flexibility to charge differential tuition, based on the cost of the degree program offered, eliminate course fees, and would allow the University to compete in the marketplace.
- House Bill 355 creates the "Students' Right to Know Act", which, beginning January 1, 2022, requires the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development (DHEWD) to annually collect and compile specified information on college outcomes to supply help high school students in making informed decisions about the potential investment in four-year college or an alternative career paths. The bill was passed into Committee of Rules and Administrative Oversight.
- House Bill 908 proposes establishing a statewide mission for Northwest Missouri State University in educator preparation, emergency and disaster management, and profession-based learning. Under this bill, sponsored by Rep. Andrews, Northwest Missouri State University will continue to be governed by its board of regents. The bill was reported to pass out of Committee of Rules and Administrative Oversight.
- House Bill 1208 is sponsored by Rep. Brown and requires public institutions of higher learning to adopt and implement policies giving undergraduate course credit to entering freshman students who earn a passing score of three or higher for each advanced placement (AP) exam. Under the bill, the Coordinating Board for Higher Education will consult with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to identify and make public correlations between subject matter and course content and AP exams.
- Language that has not been filed in a bill, but would allow the University of Missouri System to convey and sell land over a certain amount. This would make statute relating to land conveyance and sales the same across the board for all universities.
HS HB 297 will be Third Read on Monday afternoon in the House, and then will head to the Senate for a referral to Committee.
Next week legislators will be back to the regular schedule and we anticipate another fast paced week ahead.