The Missouri General Assembly had a short week this week, with the observance of Martin Luther King Day on Monday. Starting on Tuesday, both the Missouri House and Missouri Senate held hearings on several issues including funding for charter schools, recall procedures for school board members, financial aid, reforms to the initiative petition process, redistricting and funding priorities for FY23.
The Missouri House of Representatives passed their redistricting plan, which will make some changes to where the boundary lines are drawn for the eight congressional seats. After much debate, including other proposals, the House passed a 6-2 map. The emergency clause measure failed in the House, so the redistricting bill will be sent over to the Senate and is expected to be taken up in committee next week.
Governor Mike Parson delivered his annual State of the State Address on Wednesday to the Missouri General Assembly. Governor Parson spoke on his budgetary priorities for the upcoming year along with his goals of spending federal aid. He proposed several key investments, including investments in higher education, recognizing the critical role that the University of Missouri System plays in the success of the state.
Capital Improvement Projects
Governor Mike Parson in his State of the State Address proposed $475 million to fund 50% of each institution’s top capital improvement project. Please see the list of the University of Missouri Systems capital improvement projects below.
- University of Missouri, Mizzou Forward Radiopharmaceutical Center
- To expand innovations with radiopharmaceuticals by investing in MizzouForward, NextGen Precision Health and the MU Research Reactor. These investments will establish new facilities to grow research in nuclear medicine, artificial intelligence and advanced materials.
- $115 million request to match $243 million from MU.
- The Governor’s recommendation was $104,500,000 million dollars
- University of Missouri Kansas City, Health Sciences District Development
- To increase its primary care physician graduates by 25% and address the state’s rural physician shortage with its Health Sciences District development project. The project will also update the dental clinic, the only public dental school in MO, KS and AR.
- $50 million request to match $50 million from UMKC
- The Governor’s recommendation was $40,000,000 million dollars
- University of Missouri Science and Technology, Missouri Protoplex
- To develop the Missouri Protoplex Facility, which will be a hub for manufacturing in Missouri with innovations that will create and sustain manufacturing jobs throughout the state. Manufacturing accounts for 12% of GDP in Missouri.
- $50 million request to match $50 million from S&T
- The Governor’s recommendation was $41,250,000 million dollars
- University of Missouri St. Louis, building the campus of the future for academic and workforce excellence
- Investment in a business and workforce development district will consolidate academic programs with student amenities and academic supports and will also go toward renovations and demolitions that will create a vibrant university producing a diverse workforce.
- $50 million request to match $50 million from UMSL
- The Governor’s recommendation was $40,000,000 million dollars
CORE Funding Increase
Governor Parson has proposed a 5.4% increase in core higher education funding. The University of Missouri System will get $23,308,982 million dollars.
State Government Updates
Governor Mike Parson
State of the State Address
Governor Parson gave his State of the State Address on January 19, 2022. He highlighted his legislative and budget priorities for the upcoming year along with his goals for spending federal aid. With a large surplus this year in the general revenue, there are a lot of potential funding opportunities to help Missourians. Key highlights from his speech are included below, please note that these are proposals from the Governor and do not reflect passed measures by the legislature.
- Missouri Fast Track Program to be permanently established
- $31 million for colleges and universities through MoExcels
- Fully funding the Foundation Formula and raising starting pay for Missouri teachers to $38,000 per year.
- $475 million to fund 50% of each institution’s top capital improvement project.
- 5.4% increase in core higher education funding
- Pay increase for state employees
- $400 million toward broadband expansion projects statewide
- $10 million to expand agriculture innovation and workforce programs
- $34 million to increase telehealth and telemedicine services in rural communities and the construction of a new multi-agency health lab to increase cross-collaboration.
- Establish a Cash Operating Expense Fund that sets aside 2.5 percent of general revenue to be used when revenues fall instead of imposing budget cuts or to be used during emergencies.
President Choi’s response to Governor Parson’s State of the State address can be found here.
Missouri Department of Economic Development
This week, the Missouri Department of Economic Development, named BJ Tanksley as the new Director for the Office of Broadband Development. This position leads the state’s efforts to expanding high-speed internet access across the state of Missouri.
Missouri House of Representatives
The House of Representatives passed the congressional map (HB2117) that was introduced by Representative Dan Shaul, who chairs the House Special Committee on Redistricting. The proposal keeps Missouri as a 6-2 split, with some changes regarding where the boundary lines for the eight congressional seats are drawn. However, a vote on the emergency clause failed, which means the map will not be able to take immediate effect. It now moves to the Senate, where they may make changes and will need to place an emergency clause on the bill. Senator Mike Bernskoetter is the Senate handler for the bill.
House Subcommittee on Appropriations – Education
This week President Choi testified on January 20, 2022, in front of the House Subcommittee on Appropriations, Education. His remarks can be found below:
- Chairman Black, Vice Chair Shields, Rep. Burnett and committee members
- Let me begin by thanking you for your strong support of public higher education
- Because of your support, we can educate students for the workforce, perform meaningful research and create economic impact in the state.
- Specifically, we are grateful for your robust backing of the expanding research enterprise occurring across our four universities.
- This support is evident in the ask this past fall for our key capital projects that could advance faster with state/federal funding we would match.
- This past year, even given its uncertainty, our momentum has not slowed.
- In early February we will release an economic impact study showing a substantial increase in our impact across the state
- Our grads earn, on average, $11k more per year than graduates from other institutions.
- With nearly 60% of our alumni living and working in Missouri, our yearly economic impact just in alumni spending is an estimated $52.5 billion.
- More and more companies are seeking our medical and research experts as partners to pioneer new tools, including a better way for doctors to collaborate when treating cancer patients.
- More pharmaceutical companies are contacting MU to help produce life-saving cancer therapies using medical isotypes produced at the MU Research Reactor.
- State investments and private donations have been key to successful launches of several priority projects at all of our universities:
- In November, UMSL completed phase 1 of its nursing simulation expansion. The 2nd phase has begun with funding through MoExcels and will increase nursing grads by 20%.
- In early October, UMKC opened its $32M high-tech Plaster research center. The center houses 11 state-of-the-art labs where engineering students can build prototypes and use high-performance computing and analytics equipment.
- A few weeks later, at MU, NIH Director Francis Collins came to Columbia to usher in the opening of the $221M Roy Blunt NextGen Precision Health building and its associated initiative, a statewide program headquartered at MU, which will catalyze our research breakthroughs.
- And S&T is continuing to develop its Kummer Institute to expand STEM education and research, as well as drive economic development. Private funds from the Kummer institute matched this year’s state investment to support S&T’s manufacturing initiative. In addition, this fall, scholarships brought in 460 1st-year students to S&T.
- 3 straight years of enrollment increases
- Maintaining highest grad rates in our history
- Ongoing improvement in 2022 USNWR rankings
- No. 1 for Best Value School among public universities in neighboring states.
- No. 12 best value in nation, jumping 13 spots.
- No. 73 best colleges for veterans, also a jump of 13 spots.
- The pro-bono veterans law clinic has secured $7M in compensation for veterans and their families since it started in 2014.
- They take the veterans through the benefits process, including securing physicians to help review medical records to make sure they qualify.
- Risen 42 places in rankings in two years, 6th highest improvement rate in the nation.
As Missouri’s only public research university, in FY21 UM universities performed $430M in R&D in a variety of fields.
The impact is vast:
- At S&T, Professor Jenny Liu and her team are part of a $10M national research effort to develop more durable road asphalt out of recyclables.
- UMSL is one of only four universities in the country to have an educational partnership agreement with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Together, they develop courses for kindergarteners through college students, capitalizing on the new NGA West campus opening in 2025.
- At UMKC, Professor Jannette Berkley-Patton, led a team through a $5M grant to address COVID-related health inequities in places with the highest infection rates.
- And two weeks ago, research that started at MU in the early 2000s “crossed the Rubicon,” one surgeon told the Wall Street Journal, when a pig heart was successfully transplanted.
- This breakthrough could now offer hope to more than 100K on national transplant lists.
- Our research also directly supports Missouri’s agriculture producers:
- With soybeans, MO’s top crop, our researchers figured out how to increase the heart-healthy element in soybean oil from 20 to 80 %. Known as high-oleic acid, or Soyleic, this value-added product is now in high demand and commercialized across the globe.
- Our Show-Me Select Replacement heifer program is a national model for how to enhance a state’s beef industry by maximizing a herd’s genetic potential, and ultimately increasing profits. 900 Missouri farms are enrolled in it.
- We are recruiting additional world-class researchers now through Mizzou Forward and UMKC Forward.
- Our research, particularly through programs like the NextGen initiative, is how we make what we’re doing matter to all Missourians.
- Our Extension network helps deploy our many findings including clinical care and NextGen discoveries to all parts of Missouri.
- Let me share more specifics about our Extension team.
- Extension is the third pillar vital to meeting our mission as a land-grant institution and serving Missourians.
- Every year, Extension staff deliver a $1.2B economic impact and have 1.1M in educational contacts.
- Each of Missouri’s 114 counties has Extension staff offering their expertise in:
- agriculture research
- increasing access to health care
- increasing access to broadband
- developing 4-H youth programming
- On health care, we have focused research on population health challenges and are creating a path to bring our research to remote parts of the state. Our motto: your zip code should not disqualify you from health care access.
- With broadband, faculty experts from all four universities are part of a working group helping community leaders bring broadband to their areas.
- In addition to our well-known 4H programming, we help nearly 60 students a year learn how to succeed in college. This program is a national model for working with first-generation students. So far, nearly 70% have gone to college.
- Our Extension programming, however, is facing a budget challenge with a $8M drop in state funding since 2011.
- These cuts caused a loss in field staff who deliver programming through their region; and campus specialists who create and deliver university research at the community level.
- Both roles offer a tangible, local link back to the teaching missions of the university. The loss of some of these positions has eroded some trust Missourians hold for the university.
- Missouri has the opportunity to grow the agricultural/food economy, reverse negative health trends and inspire our next generation of leaders through 4-H.
- Specifically, new investments in Extension would allow us to:
- bring on 60 positions, with 20 in each priority area – agriculture, health and 4-H. Counties and funding partners could increase the investment by offering local funding matches.
- Increase our ability to deliver basic research to the community level. Other university funding sources would match the state investment, which would double our impact.
Fed Stimulus projects reflect research focus
- We appreciate the chance to present our most transformative capital improvement projects for federal stimulus dollars
- Our four capital projects reflect our research focus:
- S&T’s Missouri Protoplex will be a hub connecting industry, state and federal leaders to manufacturing innovations.
- UMKC Health Center district would increase primary care physician grads by 25%, and an updated dental clinic would continue to serve vulnerable populations. We are the only public dental school across MO, KS and AR.
- UMSL’s plan will establish a business and workforce district in an area producing the state’s most diverse workforce
- MU will expand its burgeoning radiopharmaceutical corridor
- MURR is already the only U.S. source of key ingredients in 5 medical isotopes used in cancer and cardiac drugs – 14,500 doses are made each week.
- About to produce new medical isotopes for pancreatic and breast cancers.
- MURR west expansion already in the works.
Tight labor market coupled with rising costs of labor, goods and services
- As you all know, the impact of inflation in 2021 represented a significant change over the last decade.
- While we have made significant progress on priorities that keep our university vibrant, we have not been immune from these pressures.
- The tight labor market, coupled with rising costs of labor, goods and services has had a direct impact.
- I’d like to share some examples of increases we have seen and will continue to see:
- 10% increase in our primary fuel supplier for the MU Power plant’s biomass boiler, which will rise another 14% for FY23.
- 10% increase from our paper supplier in FY22.
- 7% rise in medical supplies for MU Health Care in FY22, with further increases expected.
- The challenges in our labor force are particularly acute:
- Our hospitals and medical school are struggling to hire nurses and healthcare workers, and wages to attract new employees continue to rise.
- We are beginning to see some of the same pressures in the academic units, with voluntary turnover increasing and time to fill job openings lengthening out over several months for key positions.
- We will continue to prioritize and cut unnecessary expenses to streamline our operations and invest in our academic and research priorities.
- In my tenure, we have cut or reallocated over $300M towards our highest priorities.
- Last year, we combined the leadership positions between MU and System, and elevated the role of the other three universities in our system.
- As a result of our actions and our scale, the University of Missouri spends the smallest percentage of total expenditures on administration amongst Missouri public universities.
- Revenue growth and continued cost containment will be necessary to address these rising costs and minimize the impact on education quality and research.
- In my mind, there is no more important investment than in public high education that creates our future leaders, research breakthroughs and engages and serves Missourians, all while creating increasing economic benefits for the state.
- We look forward to working closely with you in these efforts.
- I want to thank you for taking the time to bring us here today.
Initiative Petition Reform
Representative Henderson introduced a joint resolution that would increase the amount of required collected signatures and would amend the state Constitution to require a two thirds majority vote for passage (HJR79). House Joint Resolution 79, successfully passed out of committee as substituted.
The House Children and Families Committee met regarding Representative Davidson’s bill that would change the age of what constitutes a missing child in the state of Missouri from seventeen years of age currently to eighteen years of age (HB1559). House Bill 1559, introduced by Representative Bishop Davidson, successfully passed out of the committee and substituted.
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
Senate Rule Changes
There have been several procedural rule changes that have been proposed. Last week, the Senate agreed to a measure that would make it more difficult to end a filibuster that was sponsored by Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo. The proposal would require ten Senators to sign a petition to force a vote. Other proposed measures included how bills are handled, changes to bill referrals, bill reporting, points of order, fiscal oversight duties, and committee reports. A list of these measures are listed below.
- Senate Resolution 435, introduced by Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz, which will require that only the sponsor or handler of a bill can make a motion to override a Governor’s veto. A letter can be written as an exception.
- Senate Resolution 436, introduced by Senate Minority Floor Leader John Rizzo, which modified a previous question motion to ten Senators. It would have also required two-thirds vote for a motion to be sustained, this was amended to only reflect was is currently required which is a majority of senators for it to be sustained. This was adopted by a 21-11 vote.
- Senate Resolution 448, introduced by Senator Bill Eigel, would require that each Senator have two bills each session be referred to a committee of their choice.
- Senate Resolution 453, introduced by Senator Bill Eigel, makes changes to how bills are reported and placed on the calendar.
- Senate Resolution 466, introduced by Senator Bill Eigel, required that the President Pro Tem needs to decide on a point of order within two legislative days.
- Senate Resolution 467, introduced by Senator Bill Eigel, makes changes to the duties of the Committee on Government Accountability and Fiscal Oversight.
- Senate Resolution 468, introduced by Senator Denny Hoskins, orders the submission of committee reports by seniority of the committee chair.
- Senator Resolution 469, introduced by Senator Denny Hoskins, automatically assign bills that have been reintroduced and are substantially similar to be referred to the same committee they were assigned previously.
The Senate Progress and Development Committee met regarding Senator Hough’s bill that would repeal the current sunset of the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant Program and would also cover costs for eligible apprenticeships (SB672). The Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant is a financial aid program for those pursuing a certificate, degree, or industry-recognized credential. The grantees must reside and work in Missouri for three years following their graduation. Senate Bill 672, introduced by Senator Lincoln Hough, was successfully reported out of committee, and recommended to pass as substituted.
Performance Funding Formula
Senator Karla Eslinger introduced Senate Bill 1077, which will establish a performance funding formula for universities and two-year college systems.
Cronkite New Voices Act
Senator Barbara Washington introduced the Cronkite New Voices Act (SB855) which seeks to protect freedom of speech and freedom of the press to school journalists working on school-sponsored media. This legislation would try to ensure that material in a school’s social media, for public high schools and public institutions of higher education, would not be suppressed due to it covering political or controversial subject matter. This Cronkite New Voices Act, Senate Bill 855, has been referred to the Senate Committee on Education.
Representative Dan Shaul (HB2080), Senator Denny Hoskins (SB643), Senator Tony Luetkemeyer (SB764) and Senator Dan Hegeman (SB1046) have all filed bills that would modify provisions relating to sports wagering. There have been several bills filed in the Missouri legislature regarding sports wagering and gaming. Currently, sports betting is not legal in the state of Missouri. However, several neighboring states have adopted policies that allow for sports betting. Senate