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American Associations Day 2019

Today (and tomorrow) marks American Associations Day!

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Governor unveils workforce system overhaul

Not surprisingly, workforce development was a central focus of this year’s Governor’s Conference on Economic Development.

At the event, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens unveiled “Skilled Workforce Missouri,” the Department of Economic Development’s new plan to overall the state’s workforce system.

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Governor announces withholds from FY18 budget, adding to cuts

At the signing of the FY 2018 budget last month, Governor Eric Greitens announced that low tax receipts and rising health care costs meant the state would have to withhold $250 million from the newly approved budget.

The withholds, which amount to $24 million for higher education, are in addition to the 6.5 percent cuts approved by the legislature in May. All told, the reduction to higher education amounts to 9 percent, which is what the Governor first proposed in January.

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Work begins on 2018 legislative agenda

At the Trustee and Executive Leadership Conference, leaders from all twelve of Missouri’s community colleges took part in the first stage of the drafting process for the 2018 Legislative Agenda. The discussion was an opportunity primarily for community college trustees to provide input, but it was also a chance for the association’s advocacy team to share what to expect come January.

  • The state budget is shaping up for another tough funding battle, which could bring about changes reminiscent to those proposed earlier this year.
  • Rumblings from Rex Sinquefield’s Show-Me Institute indicate that public retirement systems may come under attack in 2018. The Institute has long-supported the privatization of public retirement funds, but is expected to increase its efforts next year.
  • The association is also keeping an eye on A+ program funding. With the expansion of the A+ program to private high schools and the increases in tuition resulting from this year’s budget cuts, it will be critical for the legislature to keep its promise to fully-fund the program.
  • Workforce development is also expected to be a major focus of this year’s advocacy efforts, as the legislature looks for ways to boost Missouri’s economy.

MCCA will officially release its legislative agenda once it is approved by the Presidents and Chancellor’s Council in November.

2017 Legislative session final update

Out of 1,830 bills filed, the Missouri Legislature only passed 76 pieces of legislation—including the 16 bills that make up the state budget.

After the end of the legislative session, Governor Greitens called a special session this week to bring legislators back to Jefferson City. The Governor has asked that legislators work on a particular economic development project for southeast Missouri.

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MCCA priorities still in play as session draws to close

The legislative session is set to come to a close today at 6 p.m., with legislators likely working up to the very last minute.

Weeks of political feuding has left a log jam of legislation, and caught up in the imbroglio were several MCCA priorities. As of 11:00 a.m. Friday, May 12, here’s where our priority bills stand:

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Congress votes to restore year-round Pell

Earlier this week, the United States Congress voted to restore eligibility for year-round Pell Grants.

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri was instrumental in getting the legislation passed. It’s estimated that 20,000 students at Missouri colleges and universities who take classes year-round would receive an additional $1,650 per year, on average, to help pay for college.

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Senate gridlock stalls legislation

A group of approximately eight Republican Senators have joined with several Democrats in opposition of Senate leadership, bringing the Senate to a standstill.

The group lobbed allegations of corruption and ineptitude at Senate Leadership, going so far as to accuse Senate leaders of manipulating the Senate calendar. Many legislators, including Senior Republican Senators are demanding immediate legislative action on an ethics bill aimed at eliminating the political committees that Governor Greitens has been using to raise funds.

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Workforce bill advances, hearing scheduled on highway signs

Yesterday workforce training bill SB 10 was voted out of committee in the House. If passed, the bill would change the financial mechanisms for Missouri’s workforce training programs to make funding for training more flexible for businesses. The most significant change is that funding for the training programs would shift away from utilizing an employer’s retained tax withholdings when funds are directly appropriated by the legislature.

With this change, businesses would be able to receive up-front funding for training, as opposed to having to wait until they have accumulated enough withholding tax to pay for training.  The New Jobs Training and Retained Jobs Training programs would work like the Customized Training program does now.

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Tax credit debate raises the possibility of further budget cuts

With only three weeks left in the legislative session and only two to pass the state budget, tensions are rising, and the legislative process has slowed to a crawl.

At the heart of the debate over the state budget is HCB 3, which would repeal the renter’s portion of the Circuit Breaker Tax Credit. Currently, an estimated 100,000 elderly and disabled utilize the credit, which costs the state about $56 million.

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Advocacy Brief - April 13, 2017

Senate flips budget cuts proposed by the House

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