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March 8, 2019

 
House Higher Education meets again this week
The House Higher Education Committee, chaired by Rep. Dean Dohrman, went into executive session on Monday, March 4, to vote on HB 575 (Dohrman), which allows institutions of higher education to designate one or more faculty or staff members as campus protection officers. It was voted out of committee 6-1-1, with Rep. Razer voting no, and Rep. Proudie voting present.

The committee then went out of executive session and received testimony on HB 753, which replaces the student representative on the University of Missouri Board of Curators with a student curator. Committee members asked about history of student representation on the board, age of the typical student representative, and the selection process for the representative. Testifying in support of the legislation was Dominique Paje, Associated Students of the University of Missouri.
 
Senate committee considers higher education legislation
The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Sen. Gary Romine, went into executive session on Tuesday, March 5, to vote on SB 265 (Romine) which replaces the student representative on the University of Missouri Board of Curators with a student curator. A substitute was adopted which prohibits the student curator from voting on matters involving a faculty or staff member who the curator has or has had as an instructor or professor. It was voted out of committee 5-3, with Sens. Emery, Libla, and Onder voting against the legislation.

The committee then went out of executive session and received testimony on SB 314 (Burlison) which prohibits institutions of higher learning from discriminating against a religious organization. Committee members asked about rights of the university, students, and organizations in given scenarios. Testifying in support of the bill were E. Scott Martin, Chi Alpha Campus Ministries; Crystal Martin, Chi Alpha Campus Ministries and General Council of the Assemblies of God; Melanie Ewy, Christian Legal Society; Jeremy Cady, Americans for Prosperity; Lance Kinzer, 1st Amendment Partnership; and Tyler McClay, Missouri Catholic Conference. Testifying in opposition to the bill were Andrew Hirth, self; Samati Niyomchai, PROMO; Sara Baker, ACLU of Missouri; and Cathy Serino, self.

The committee then received testimony on SB 358 (Sater) which adds psychiatrists to the Health Professional Student Loan Repayment Program. Committee members asked why the legislation is adding psychiatrists and not psychologists or others in the behavioral health care field. They also asked about demand and how that was measured. Testifying in support of the bill were Rob Monsees, Missouri Hospital Association; Alex Tuttle, Department of Health & Senior Services; Randy Scherr, Missouri Psychiatric Physicians Association; and Otto Fajen, Missouri NEA.

Finally, the committee received testimony on SB 205 (Arthur) which would expand the A+ Scholarship Program by allowing high school students to be reimbursed for the cost of tuition, books, and fees of any dual credit or dual enrollment course through a public community college or vocational or technical school. Testifying in support of the legislation was Brian Millner, Missouri Community College Association; Linda Rallo, Align; and Otto Fajen, Missouri NEA.
                              
 
House Budget Committee chair proposes revisions to higher education budget
On Wednesday, March 6, House Budget Chair Cody Smith released his plan for the FY 2020 state budget. The plan is based, in part, on the recommendations of the various House Subcommittees on Appropriations. The following are highlights of proposed changes to HB 3:

    • Each MoExcels project will receive its own line-item appropriation;

    • State Technical College of Missouri will receive an additional $1 million in MoExcels funding;

    • St. Charles Community College will receive $1,580,000 in MoExcels funding;

    • Funding to help institutions that are not currently meeting their performance funding measures will be reduced $100,000;

    • The Marguerite Ross Barnett Scholarship Program for working adults is restored, with $413,375 from general revenue;

    • Deferred maintenance at four-year institutions is reduced from $20 million to $11 million;

    • Missouri Southern State University will receive $1.8 million for STEM academic and scholarship expansion;

    • Missouri State University will receive $4.7 million as an equity adjustment to increase the per-student appropriations; and

    • The University of Missouri-St. Louis will receive $50,000 for its program on international collaboration.

The remainder of the Governor’s recommendations remain the same. The bill will be considered, and possibly amended in the House Budget Committee, on Monday, March 11.

On Tuesday, March 5, the Senate Appropriations Committee met and reviewed the FY 2019 supplemental budget, which includes an increase in tax refund intercept authority for the community colleges and Missouri Western State University.

 
 


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