April 2019 Legislative Updates

MACRAO Legislative Update 2019-04-06

Here’s my highlights. There are other “educational” bills, but I’ve tried to focus on issues that directly impact our work as registrars, admissions officers or enrollment managers.

State Changes or bills not previously noted:

  • HB 1093 - Allows dual credit students who are studying approved STEM courses to be reimbursed for 100% of the costs.  This bill has been heard in special committee.
  • HB 744 - This bill would review evaluate and make recommendations regarding the condition of the state’s public higher education system. It has been heard in committee. 
  • Fast Track Workforce Incentive GrantHCS HB 225 Goal is to meet increase the number of adults with college degrees and/or workforce training.  The bill continues to move forward (it has passed out of the House and had one reading in the Senate), but the question of funding due to the recent discoveries about lower-than anticipated state revenue casts some doubt on the likelihood it can be fully funded. However, tweaks continue to be made. The current version states that to qualify individuals need to not have a degree, have an adjusted gross income of less than $80,000 if the taxpayer's filing status is married filing combined, or $40,000 if the taxpayer's filing status is single, head of household, or qualifying widow(er). In addition, such student must be at least 25 years of age. Grant funding may be renewed, but the student must continue to meet the eligibility requirements and must demonstrate a grade-point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.  Senate Education Committee received public testimony. Committee members asked about claw back provisions and the three-year sunset, the culture of work, and programs that would be covered by the grant.

NO update on the following 

  • STEM Certificates for high school students - HB 456 - This bill would allow high schools that want to do so to develop a STEM certification for their students.  This would not directly impact all of higher ed. 
  • Returning HeroesHB 400 - There is an effort to modify the act to include benefits for graduate students (masters and doctorate) seeking degrees. The maximum that the students can be assessed is 30% of tuition and fees.  Students must have been in active duty combat and must claim the benefit within 20 years of being discharged. The veteran must have been a Missouri resident when first entering the military or entered military service in Missouri. Update – move to “Do Pass” in the House so it is ready for a hearing.  
  • Budget Time – Anticipated revenue shortfall for this year is impacting plans for 2020. 
  • Required On-Campus HousingHB 435 - Prohibits public institutions of higher education from requiring students to live on campus, except for first-year freshmen who may be required to live in campus housing for their first year. 


Federal/ national issues:

  • Negotiators Convene to Rewrite Wide Range of Higher Ed RulesThe department held its fourth meeting, due to the volume of the review as well as the impact of snow on a previous meeting. There was consensus that what is “regular and substantive interaction” for distance courses, allowing institutions to “outsource” to a non-Title IV entity more than the current 40% limit to be 50% (instead of the previously proposed 100%).  Also, the proposed change to the credit hour definition has been removed from the rules.
  • FERPA - Headway is being made to get change in the wording to allow four and two-year institutions to share information.  This would help significantly with reverse transfer efforts.  Stay tuned!
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