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April 5, 2019

 
House committee considers legislation affecting students
On Monday, April 1, the House Higher Education Committee, chaired by Rep. Dean Dohrman, received public testimony on HB 837 (Kelly), which prohibits 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. Committee members asked whether fees were involved and how those testifying would feel under numerous hypothetical situations. Testifying in support of the bill were Lance Kinzer, 1st Amendment Partnership; Tyler Coward, FIRE; Tyler McClay, Missouri Catholic Conference; and Don Hinkle, Missouri Baptist Convention. Testifying in opposition to the bill were Jordan Holt on behalf of himself; Samati Niyomchai, PROMO, and Sara Baker, ACLU of Missouri.

The committee then received testimony on HB 576 (Dohrman), which modifies the Campus Free Expression Act. Committee members asked whether the bill was meant to prevent the hecklers’ veto and how this addresses insurance costs. Testifying in support of the bill were Tyler Coward, FIRE, and Lance Kinzer, 1st Amendment Partnership; testifying in opposition to the bill was Sara Baker, ACLU of Missouri; and testifying for informational purposes was Paul Wagner, Council on Public Higher Education.
 
Senate Education considers the House version of Fast Track
On Tuesday, April 2, the Senate Education Committee, chaired by Sen. Gary Romine, received public testimony on HB 225 (Swan), which creates the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant. Committee members asked about clawback provisions and the three-year sunset, the culture of work, and programs that would be covered by the grant. Testifying in support of the bill were John Wanamaker, Springfield Chamber of Commerce; Matt Morrow, Springfield Chamber of Commerce; Kara Corches, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Nancy Giddens, Kansas City Chamber of Commerce; Zora Mulligan, Department of Higher Education; Otto Fajen, Missouri NEA; Michael Grote, Western Governors University—Missouri; Shawn Strong, State Technical College of Missouri; and Paul Wagner, Council on Public Higher Education.
 
House considers campus protection legislation
On Monday, April 1, the House Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee, chaired by Rep. Kenneth Wilson, received testimony on HB 105 (Justus), which allows private institutions of higher education to appoint persons to be members of a campus police department. Committee members asked how many private colleges operate in the state, why the bill was recommitted, and to whom the private police force would be accountable. Testifying in support of the bill were two representatives from College of the Ozarks and Bill Gamble on behalf of Independent Colleges and Universities of Missouri. Testifying in opposition to the bill was Sheldon Lineback on behalf of the Missouri Police Chiefs Association.

On Tuesday, April 2, the House perfected HB 575 (Dohrman), which allows institutions of higher education to designate one or more faculty or staff members as campus protection officers. Six amendments were added to the bill during debate, including:
    • Technical changes;
    • Language which allows students enrolled in STEM Studies Enhancement Programs to be eligible for dual credit scholarships (similar to HB 1093);
    • Language specifying that public institutions of higher education shall not require their students to pay fees related to health care if they show proof of health insurance coverage (similar to HB 436);
    • Language exempting students from living on campus past their freshman year (similar to HB 435); and
    • Language which allows for the concealed carry of firearms on college campuses (similar to Section 571.109 of HB 258).
 
General Assembly approves community college retirement legislation
On Thursday, April 4, the Senate third read and passed HB 77 (Black), which exempts any person retired and receiving a retirement allowance from PSRS and employed by a public community college from current law relating to retirement allowance restrictions. The bill has now been Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed and will be sent to the governor’s desk for his action.
 
 


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