The Missouri Senate had a very long week this week, including a 31-hour filibuster. The Senate has yet to finalize redistricting. They also have yet to perfect any legislation this session. The Senate was in session this Friday and will possibly continue their efforts throughout the weekend in order to finalize congressional maps for the state of Missouri.
The Missouri House passed the emergency supplemental bill (HB3014) introduced by Representative Cody Smith. The more than $4.6 billion dollar supplemental includes state employee pay raises, additional funding for Missouri schools and Medicaid expansion. There were revisions made to the text to modify the amounts for the pay raises, these modifications were less than what Governor Parson had requested.
The Missouri House also passed Representative Henderson’s imitative petition reform legislation that, if signed into law, would increase the amount of required collected signatures and would amend the state Constitution to require a two thirds majority vote for passage (HJR79).
There have been over a thousand bills filed thus far, many of those related to education. As mentioned during our advocacy presentations, the link for a list of key bills is listed below. We have highlighted a few below.
Tracking List: https://www.govwatch.net/report/21265
Graduates’ Employment Information
Senator Karla May has filed Senate Bill 770, which builds upon information that is already provided on a website that is operated by the Department of Higher Education. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Education. The bill specifically would:
- Expand the information on the website to include a list of career areas with the highest demand in the state and the average starting salary, median salary, and typical education and training prerequisites for each such career area.
- The bill also requires the Coordinating Board for Higher Education and the Department of Economic Development to jointly provide, for each credential offered at an institution of higher education, the median and range income and salary for certain recent graduates, the graduation rate, the percentage of current students who have taken out student loans, and the average three-year student loan default rate for students who have earned the credential in the previous ten years. Such information shall appear on the institution's website and course catalog.
Missouri House of Representatives
House Higher Education Committee
On Monday, the House Higher Education Committee voted in favor of Representative Brenda Shield’s bill that would allow students who earned an associate’s degree or the equivalent to apply unused A+ scholarship funds toward earning a bachelor's degree (HB1723).
House Budget Committee
On Wednesday, the House Budget Committee met to hear budget proposals from the Department of Higher Education. The proposals were largely unchanged from what Governor Parson had requested. This would include a 5.4% funding increase to the CORE. University of Missouri System would get $23,308,982 million dollars with this increase. The committee plans to meet at a later date to hear proposals for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) projects for higher education.
This week the House Workforce Development Committee voted in favor of Representative Travis Fitzwater’s House Bill 2202, which requires that computer science courses successfully completed and counted toward state graduation requirements shall be equivalent to one science or practical arts credit for the purpose of satisfying admission requirements at any public institution of higher education in the state.
The House Veterans Committee held a hearing this week to consider Representative Michael O'Donnell’s House Bill 2543, which seeks to change the tuition rates for military service members, discharged members, and dependents.
Advanced Placement (AP) Exams
Representative Chis Brown introduced House Bill 1683, which requires in-state public educational institutions to grant undergraduate course credit for students who score 3 or higher on advance placement examinations. This bill has been referred the House Higher Education committee and is expected to have a hearing on February 14, 2022.
Speakers on College Campuses
Representative Adam Schnelting introduced the Missouri Censorship Prohibition Act, which seeks to protect the rights of speakers on campuses of public institutions of higher education (HB 2105). Specifically, the bill tries to ensure that public institutions of higher education are not censoring a speaker based on the speaker’s political ideology and or party affiliation. The bill also has provisions that if a speaker is censored by a public institution of higher education that they can bring civil action against the institution. This bill has been referred the House Higher Education committee and is expected to have a hearing on February 14, 2022.
Holocaust Education Week
The House Emerging Issues Committee voted in favor of Rep. Adam Schwadron’s bill that establishes a Holocaust Education Week in the state of Missouri. Specifically, this bill will create a Holocaust Education and Awareness Commission, housed out of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, which will be responsible for promoting educational and awareness programs in Missouri. The second week in April will be designated as "Holocaust Education Week" which will provide instruction to students regarding the history of and lessons learned from the Holocaust.