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:

Budget – Passed and sent to the Governor

After weeks of back and forth over the budget, both chambers passed the Conference Committee’s final proposal for the budget. Included in the bill was a 6.58% percent cut to community colleges, which is down from the initial proposal of 9%. The budget now awaits the Governor’s signature, and will have to be signed before the fiscal year begins on July 1.

Mission Review – Not passed and likely dead

In the final moments of the legislative session, legislators will often amend priorities onto other bills in order to gain leverage for their priorities. This is what happened to the Mission Review legislation that would allow community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees. The language for Mission Review was amended onto SB 355, which contained provisions relating to highway signs. Unfortunately, the whole bill was killed due to a completely unrelated feud between Senators. Before it died, the bill went as far as conference committee.

Highway Signs – Not passed but may still go up for a vote

A separate bill that contains language on community college highway signs may still pass. Transportation bill, SB 225, was amended to include language that would make community colleges eligible for the same size signs as four-year universities. This bill is still moving. It needs a vote in the House to pass and then would be sent to the Governor to sign. We are continuing to monitor the progress of this bill, and will update this article should the bill move.

Workforce Development – Passed and sent to the Governor

HB 93 passed and will be sent to the Governor. The bill contained language from SB10, which changes the financial mechanisms for Missouri’s workforce training programs to make funding for training more flexible for businesses.

Other Advocacy News – A+ expansion from last session may be in jeopardy

Political organization Missouri First filed suit this week against legislation from last year’s legislative session that expands the A+ program to private high schools. The group is basing its lawsuit on the Hammerschmidt Rule, which says bills cannot contain more than a single subject. If the lawsuit is successful, it could prevent the expansion of the A+ program to private high schools.  There are many unknowns on this subject as of right now, and we will keep you updated as it progresses.  

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