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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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Community Colleges take on top issue facing Missouri businesses

Jefferson City—Missouri’s 12 community colleges established the Missouri Community College Workforce Development Network today to address a longstanding challenge facing Missouri businesses—the availability of a skilled workforce.

The new network will tackle what groups like the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other economic developers have said for years, namely that the state’s workforce system needs to change in order for Missouri to compete with other states for job creation projects.

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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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Missouri legislature votes for smaller cut to community colleges

This week, the Missouri Legislature finalized the state budget, approving a 6.5 percent cut to community colleges across the state.

This is down from the 9 percent cut that was initially proposed by the Governor in February and later brought back into play by the Senate.

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Senate approves higher cuts to community colleges

This week the Senate approved its version of the FY2018 budget, which includes a 9% cut to community colleges.

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Community colleges uncover the problems with Missouri’s workforce

Jefferson City—A report released today by the Missouri Community College Association outlined three problems with Missouri’s workforce and highlighted several ongoing efforts to address these issues.

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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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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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Advocacy Brief - April 13, 2017

Senate flips budget cuts proposed by the House

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Sen. Roy Blunt receives national honor for support of community colleges

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt received the National Education Service Award from the Association of Community College Trustees at the association’s annual legislative summit in Washington, D.C. this week.

In his time as chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee overseeing education, Blunt led the effort to reinstate the Year-Round Pell Grant, an effort that would aid thousands of community college students in Missouri. The Senate’s fiscal year (FY) 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education funding bill included a provision to reinstate year-round Pell.

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Free resources for you to use in the classroom

Between tight budgets and time poverty—you can’t afford to reinvent the wheel, and the good news is that you don’t have to.

There are thousands of free or low-cost resources out there that you can use in your classroom. They’re called open educational resources, or OER for short. And, if you know where to look, you can find everything from syllabi, to textbooks, to assignments, simulations and games.

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