Once again, the Missouri Senate experienced continued GOP infighting. Unfortunately, this week, these delay tactics were used against a bill that would help victims of sexual assault and children that have been abused.
Next week, the Missouri House of Representatives and Missouri Senate will be on spring break and will return Monday, March 21, 2022. There are a lot of important issues to still be resolved this year including redistricting and passing a budget.
Missouri House of Representatives
Advanced Placement (AP) Exams
Representative Chis Brown’s House Bill 1683 passed out of the House Higher Education Committee as amended. This bill requires in-state public educational institutions to grant undergraduate course credit for students who score 3 or higher on advance placement examinations. The bill no longer includes the section that would have required that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to identify correlations between the subject matter and content of courses offered by each institution and the subject matter and content of courses and examinations in the advanced placement program. The current amended text also clarifies that if a university does not offer the course than they do not have to accept it. The University of Missouri System was happy to see the changes that were made to this legislation and appreciates the work that the sponsor did to work with us and others to resolve concerns.
The Missouri General Laws Committee held a hearing regarding several bills relating to transgender student athletes. Please see a list of bills that were considered below.
- House Bill 2197, introduced by Representative Bennie Cook, would prohibit public school districts and institutions of higher education from allowing an individual of the male sex to participate in a sport designated for the female sex.
- House Bill 2461, introduced by Representative Jamie Burger, which prohibits public schools from allowing a student of the male sex to participate on a school sponsored athletic team that is exclusively for students of the female sex.
- House Bill 2374, introduced by Chuck Basye, would prohibit public school districts and institutions of higher education from allowing an individual of the male sex to participate in a sport designated for the female sex
Federal Stimulus Spending
On Thursday, the House Subcommittee on Federal Stimulus Spending held a subcommittee markup that had amendments that included over $375 million dollars’ worth of changes. However, there were not any proposed or accepted amendments that would impact the University of Missouri System.
Representative Ann Kelley has introduced House Bill 2136, which would require public schools, charter schools, and public institutions of higher education that issue pupil identification cards to have printed on the card specific phone numbers including those for the National Suicide Prevention and the Crisis Text Line. This bill has a scheduled hearing on March 21, 2022, in the House Health and Mental Health Policy Committee. Senator Justin Brown introduced the Senate companion to this bill (SB1142).
Preventing Religious Discrimination
House Bill 1724, introduced by Representative Brad Hudson, successful passed the House of Representatives. This bill would prohibit public institutions of higher learning from discriminating against a religious student association or denying a religious student association any benefit available to any other student association. The bill has been reported the Senate and read for the first time.
Representative Ann Kelley has introduced House Bill 2670, which would allow students in certain vocational certificate programs of study to be eligible for tuition reimbursements under the A+ schools program. The bill has a scheduled hearing on March 21, 2022, in the House Higher Education Committee.
Coach Gary Pinkel
Representative Kurtis Gregory has introduced a resolution honoring the coaching achievements of Coach Gary Pinkel, including his achievements as the University of Missouri football coach (HCR80). This concurrent resolution has been referred to the House Committee on Emerging Issues.
Tuition Rates- Military Service Members
Representative Michael O’Donnell introduced House Bill 2543, which makes changes to provisions governing tuition rates for military service members, discharged members, and dependents. The bill successfully passed out of the House Rules and Legislative Oversight Committee.
Critical Race Theory (CRT)
Representative Ann Kelley introduced House Bill 1484, which prohibits public schools and institutions of higher education from requiring students to engage in any form of mandatory gender or sexual diversity training or counseling. This bill passed out of the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.
The Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee held a hearing on several bills 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. Bills considered included (SB643) introduced by Senator Denny Hoskins, (SB1046) introduced by Senator Dan Hegeman and (SB1061) introduced by Senator Tony Luetkemeyer.
Savings Accounts- Education
Senator Karla Eslinger introduced Senate Bill 1161, which establishes the "Show Me Child Development Account Act" and creates the "Missouri Children's Development Account Program". This bill has been referred to the Committee on Insurance and Banking.
Performance Funding Formula
Senator Karla Eslinger’s Senate Bill 1077, which would establish a performance funding formula for university and two-year college systems, has been referred to the Senate Committee on Education.