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April 26, 2019

 
Veterans legislation advances in the General Assembly
On Tuesday, April 23, the Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, chaired by Sen. Bill White, went into executive session. HB 400 (Basye), which expands the Missouri Returning Heroes’ Education Act, and HB 715 (Lynch), which removes the sunset provision for the Wartime Veteran’s Survivor Grant Program, were voted out of committee 5-0.
 
House Higher Education receives public testimony on four bills
On Wednesday, April 24, the House Higher Education Committee, chaired by Rep. Dean Dohrman, received public testimony on four bills related to higher education. HB 613 (Kelley) allows public institutions of higher education to charge differential tuition rates based on program of study. Committee members asked whether other states take this approach. Testifying in support of the legislation was Alan Marble on behalf of Missouri Southern State University, and testifying for informational purposes was Ryan Rapp on behalf of the University of Missouri System.

HB 1019 (Murphy) adds supplementary fees, course fees, laboratory fees, and all other fees – excluding any fee established by the student body of the institution – to the definition of tuition for purposes of the Higher Education Student Funding Act (HESFA). Committee members asked whether this would be possible under the existing cap and about the intent of the legislation. Testifying in opposition to the bill was Paul Wagner on behalf of the Council on Public Higher Education.

HB 1121 (Swan) grants Southeast Missouri State University the authority to develop a statewide mission in visual and performing arts, computer science, and cybersecurity. Committee members asked how this bill interacts with other statewide missions and the existing program approval process. Testifying in support of the bill was Carlos Vargas on behalf of Southeast Missouri State University.

HCR 35 (Hicks) urges the University of Missouri System to study whether there is a correlation or causation between alcohol sales at collegiate stadiums and binge drinking. There were no questions and no witnesses to testify.

 
Missouri Senate approves its version of higher education & workforce FY 2020 budget
As the budget bills make their way toward the May 10 constitutional deadline, the House and the Senate have both completed their initial edits to Governor Parson’s proposed budget. On Wednesday the Senate passed HB 3 by a vote of 30-2. The Senate appropriated $4.99 million less than the House. Both chambers have yet to name members to serve on the HB 3 conference committee, which is expected to work out the following budget items next week:

    • MoExcels: The House proposed breaking out each project into separate line items and added two projects for a total of $18.9 million. The Senate took the Governor’s position of $16 million appropriated as a pool to the department.
    • Default Prevention Activities: The Senate proposed eliminating a $250,000 general revenue line item that uses peer counselors and marketing efforts to help prevent students from defaulting on student loans.
    • Access Missouri: The Governor and the House have proposed an increase of $960,000 due to the statutory expansion of this program to Western Governor’s University. The Senate cut $560,000 of this increase.
    • Fast Track: The Governor proposed $22.2 million in new funding while the House proposed $18.4 million through a combination of general revenue and lottery funding. The Senate position would limit the new program to $10 million in general revenue.
    • Deferred Maintenance: The Governor proposed $20 million in ongoing funding for the public universities. The House reduced that amount to $11 million, added State Technical College of Missouri to the list of institutions that would receive funding, and limited the funds to a one-time appropriation. The Senate eliminated the funding completely.
    • Crowder College Nursing Program Expansion: The House added $332,500 for the new line item and the Senate eliminated it.
    • Funding for Higher Education Institutions: The Senate added $1 million to the core of each public university and $10 million to both Missouri State University and the University of Missouri System. The UM System funds would be for their new precision medicine initiative. That leaves a $7 million dollar difference to work out for the UM System and a $5.3 million difference to work out for Missouri State University. The Senate also added $500,000 in new funds for State Technical College of Missouri.
    • University of Missouri—St. Louis International Collaboration Program: The House added $50,000 to this program, and the Senate added an additional $50,000 for the program for a total increase of $100,000.

The House Budget Committee also finalized capital spending bills this week. On Wednesday, the House Budget Committee unanimously approved HB 17, which includes a total of $13.1 million in re-appropriations for capital projects still in process for higher education institutions. HB 19 did not include any new funding for capital projects for higher education institutions this year.
 
Fast Facts for the Week
Items in bold relate directly to higher education.

Sent to the Governor:
    • None

Passed by the Senate:
    • None

Passed by the House:
    • HB 326 (Shroer): Creates a statewide license for mechanical contractors
    • HB 337 (Swan): Establishes the Senior Services Growth and Development program
    • HB 637 (Shawan): Modifies provisions relating to fantasy sports contests
    • HB 685 (Kelly): Changes the laws regarding property classifications for zoning so that sawmills are classified as agricultural property
    • HB 919 (Evans): Creates new provisions relating to the partition of property
    • HB 1083 (O’Donnell): Changes the powers of a court to divide certain securities among multiple recipients
    • HB 1099 (Griesheimer): Creates new provisions relating to public institutions of higher education
    • HB 1237 (Fitzwater): Authorizes the conveyance of certain state property
    • HCB 1 (Roden): Modifies provisions relating to the conveyance of certain state property
    • HCB 5 (Ruth): Enacts provisions relating to the designation of memorial highways
    • HCB 7 (Roeber): Modifies provisions relating to elementary and secondary education
    • HCB 10 (Shaul): Modifies provisions relating to elections
 


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