January 2019 Legislative Update

Governor Parson signs Executive Order reorganizing the Department of Higher Education

Gov. Parson signed Executive Order 19-03 on Jan. 17, which moves the Division of Workforce Development and the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center from the Department of Economic Development to the Department of Higher Education. This transformational change will align Missouri’s workforce with higher education, giving Missourians one resource for a full range of post-secondary options – from apprenticeships to certificates to doctoral programs.

The Executive Order will be deemed accepted unless the House or Senate rejects it within 60 days via a simple majority vote by either chamber. If the Executive Order is not rejected, it will take legal effect on Aug. 28, 2019. Since we will receive the Division of Workforce Development’s budget beginning  July 1, 2019, we will share some functions through an MOU.

Governor Parson delivers State of the State address

Gov. Parson delivered the State of the State address on Jan. 16. His address focused on two major themes – workforce development and infrastructure. The Governor highlighted his commitment to higher education through the funding of Fast Track and MoExcels, at $22.2 million and $16.3 million respectively. Fast Track is a new financial aid program that addresses workforce needs by encouraging adults to pursue an industry-recognized credential in an area designated as “high need.” MoExcels funding will facilitate development and expansion of employer-driven education and training programs and initiatives to substantially increase educational attainment.

Gov. Parson also released his Missouri budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2020. Overall, the Governor recommended a total of $1.3 billion for higher education, which includes his proposal to move the Division of Workforce Development under the department.

Highlights for Higher Education:

  • $16,335,975 for MoExcels, funding 18 of the 26 recommended proposals.

Highlights for Workforce Development:

  • $98,557,368 and 344.02 staff transferred from the Department of Economic Development (including $300,000 GR) to MDHE.

Highlights for Financial Aid Programs:

  • $7.5 million for the Bright Flight program ($500,000 GR increase and $7 million fund swap to GR).
  • $7,960,000 for the Access Missouri Grant (includes $960,000 in new funding for legislative increases to cover students attending Western Governor’s University and $7 million fund swap to GR).
  • $1,500,000 increase to support the A+ Scholarship Program.
  • $22,200,000 to support the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant Program.
  • A core reduction of ($413,375) for the Marguerite Ross Barnett Scholarship program as that program is replaced with the Fast Track program.
  • $13,000 to support legislative increases for the Public Service Survivor Grant Program.
  • $13,750 to support increases in the Veteran’s Survivors Grant Program.

Highlights for Higher Education Initiatives:

  • $20,000,000 for deferred maintenance projects at public universities, with each receiving $2 million.

Highlights for Community Colleges:

  • Maintain $143,570,515 in core funding after a core reduction of $2 million in one-time funding was eliminated.
Highlights for State Technical College of Missouri:
  • Maintain core funding of $5,530,371.

Highlights for Public Universities:

  • Maintain core funding of $744,786,651 after a core reduction of one-times ($1,250,000) and $1,800,000 for the MSSU/UMKC dental program were eliminated.

Highlights for University of Missouri-related programs:

  • $1 million in new funding for the University of Missouri Nuclear Medicine Program.
  • $437,640 in fund changes to continue the Healthy Families Trust Fund.
  • $808,803 for operational and moving expenses of the State Historical Society as they move into their new facility and a core reduction of $200,000 in one-time expenditures.

Chairs of House and Senate education committees announced

The 1st Regular Session of the 100th General Assembly began last week on Jan. 7, with committee memberships being announced this week.

House Speaker Elijah Haahr announced Rep. Dean Dohrman as the chair of the House Higher Education Committee on Jan.15. Vice-chair of the committee is Rep. Elaine Gannon. The other committee members include: Rep. John Black, Rep. Ann Kelley, Rep. Kip Kendrick, Rep. Raychel Proudie, Rep. Greg Razer, Rep. Jeff Shawan, Rep. Brenda Shields, and Rep. Curtis Trent.

Senate President Pro Tem David Schatz announced Sen. Gary Romine as the chair of the Senate Education Committee on Jan. 16. Vice-chair of the committee is Sen. Wayne Wallingford. The other committee members include: Sen. Lauren Arthur, Sen. Ed Emery, Sen. Jason Holsman, Sen. Doug Libla, Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin, Sen. Bob Onder, and Sen. Jill Schupp.

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