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March 15, 2019

 
Senate committee passes higher education legislation
The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Sen. Gary Romine, went into executive session on Tuesday, March 12 to vote on SB 314 (Burlison), which prohibits institutions of higher learning from discriminating against a religious organization. It was voted out of committee 5-2, with Sens. Arthur and Holsman voting no. The committee then voted out SB 358 (Sater), which adds psychiatrists to the Health Professional Student Loan Repayment Program, with consent status by a vote of 7-0. Finally, the committee amended 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. The substitute would make the program need-based and was voted out of committee 7-0.
 
House makes changes to Title IX legislation
The House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. David Gregory, went into executive session on Tuesday, March 12 to vote on HB 573 (Dohrman), which creates new provisions relating to rights of accused college students in Title IX proceedings. Two amendments were offered, adopted, and rolled into a new committee substitute that was passed out of committee 11-6. Reps. Ellebracht, Mackey, Mitten, Roberts-077, Sauls, and Toalson Reisch voted no.

The bill was then referred to House Rules-Administrative Oversight, chaired by Rep. Holly Rehder. The committee met on Thursday, March 14, and voted HCS HB 573 out of committee 5-1. Rep. Lavender voted no.
                                        
 
House Budget Committee finalizes higher education budget
On Monday, March 11, the House Budget Committee completed their revisions to the Governor’s proposed higher education budget. On Wednesday, March 13, the bill was voted out of the committee by a vote of 25-9. The bill will be considered by the full House of Representatives when the legislature returns from their annual spring break on March 22.

Amendments that passed on March 11, in addition to the changes highlighted last week, include:
• A reduction to the Fast Track Scholarship program of $3,789,460. This change reflects the fiscal note for the House passed legislation as amended, leaving a total of $18.4 million;
• A new decision item of $500,000 for a computer programming education initiative;
• A nursing program expansion at Crowder College for $332,500; and
• A variety of language changes, such as a prohibition against requiring students to join unions.

Several amendments that had been prepared were defeated, withdrawn, or never formally offered in the House Budget Committee. The Chairman made it clear he was not willing to cut funding for the Fast Track Program beyond the amendment he offered that aligned the budget with the fiscal note for the program.
 
           
 


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