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.

MCCA’s advocacy team worked tirelessly this session to push legislation forward while also maintaining a strong defense against political attacks on higher education. It was a difficult session that would have had a very different result if not for the MCCA advocacy team and support from key legislators.

We will provide an in depth analysis of the session and recognize those legislators in an upcoming publication, but for now, here’s where our priorities landed:

Highway Signs – Passed and sent to the Governor

Transportation bill, SB 225, was amended to include language that would make community colleges eligible for the same size signs as four-year universities. In the final moments of the legislative session, this bill was passed by the House, approved by the Senate and sent to the Governor.

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

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, one of two bills that 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.

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.

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