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March 1, 2019

 
House committee takes action on campus protection legislation
The House Higher Education Committee, chaired by Rep. Dean Dohrman, went into executive session on Monday, Feb. 25, to vote on HB 105 (Justus) which establishes the “Private College Campus Protection Act.” An amendment was adopted that would exclude private institutions in the city of Springfield from appointing and employing police officers per requests from the city and the city’s two largest private colleges. HCS HB 105 was voted out of committee 9-0.

The committee then went out of executive session and received testimony on HB 575 (Dohrman). The bill allows institutions of higher education to designate one or more faculty or staff members as campus protection officers. Committee members asked if the protection officers would be POST certified, about the ability of existing safety personnel to detain individuals, whether the protection officers would have to bring their weapon home with them in the evening, and about the cost of insurance. Testifying in support of the bill were Paul Wagner, Council on Public Higher Education (COPHE), and Brian Millner, Missouri Community College Association (MCCA).
 
Senate committee takes action on legislation impacting students
The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Sen. Gary Romine, went into executive session on Tuesday, Feb. 26, to vote on SB 259 (Romine) which implements due process proceedings for complaints made under Title IX. The bill was voted out of committee 6-3, with Sens. Arthur, Holsman, and Schupp voting against the legislation.

The committee then went out of executive session and received testimony on SB 265 (Luetkemeyer) which replaces the student representative on the Board of Curators of the University of Missouri with a student curator. Committee members asked about this history of student representation on the board, how a student balances their many responsibilities, and about students’ willingness to recuse themselves from potential conflicts of interest. Testifying in support of the bill were Dominique Paje, Associated Students of the University of Missouri; Connor Toth, Missouri University of Science & Technology student; Nathaniel Dare, students of the University of Missouri—Columbia; Brandon Henderson, students of the University of Missouri—Kansas City; Aminata Diallo, students of the University of Missouri—St. Louis; Brandon Fenton, University of Missouri—St. Louis IFC and Pi Kappa Alpha – Zeta Phi Chapter; and Luke Barber, University of Missouri—St. Louis student.
                  
 
Fast Track passes out of the House
On Wednesday, Feb. 27, HCS HB 225 (Swan), which creates the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant, was reviewed by the House Fiscal Review Committee, chaired by Rep. Dan Houx. The fiscal note for the bill was discussed and an amendment was added to the bill that would require the legislation to be reauthorized in three years or the program would cease to exist. These provisions are a common tool to guarantee legislative oversight of any new programs and to ensure the program created is performing and meeting the goals it was designed to achieve.

On Thursday, Feb. 28, HCS HB 225, as amended (Swan) was third read and passed by the House 101-49. It was then taken up in the Senate where it was first read.
 
Budget work continues in the House and Senate 
On Wednesday, Feb. 27, the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Education, chaired by Rep. Rusty Black, presented the subcommittee’s recommendations for the higher education budget to the full House Budget Committee, chaired by Rep. Cody Smith. Members of the Budget Committee had an opportunity to ask questions of Chairman Black and his subcommittee members regarding their recommended changes.

Two main areas were discussed: A reduction in funding for the Fast Track program related to a new fiscal estimate for the revised bill, and a recommendation to move funds earmarked for deferred maintenance at two institutions (Missouri State University and Missouri Western State University) to “per FTE student equity funding adjustment.” The subcommittee also recommended the House Budget Committee move the University of Missouri’s $2 million for deferred maintenance and the $1 million for the nuclear medicine program into a combined $3 million line item now called the “Precision Medicine Initiative.” The House Budget Committee will reconvene and begin formal markup of the budget on Monday, March 11.

On Thursday, Feb. 28, the Senate Appropriations Committee took up capital improvements, maintenance and repair, and capital re-appropriations budgets that include some $13 million in re-appropriations for higher education institutions. There were no questions asked by the committee regarding the higher education projects to be re-appropriated.      
 
 


Missouri Department of Higher Education
P.O. Box 1469
Jefferson City, MO 65102
https://dhe.mo.gov
800-473-6757
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