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Workforce and Transportation bills advance

Two MCCA priorities made headway this week in the legislature. The Senate passed workforce bill, SB 10, sponsored by Sen. Jay Wasson, and two community college highway signage bills, SB 355 and HB 1039 made progress. Workforce Bill SB 10 changes 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 New and Retained Jobs training program would shift away from retained tax withholdings when funds are ... Read more

Community colleges gain ground on FY18 budget

Earlier this week, the House Budget Committee introduced changes to the state budget that would add $4.349 million back into core funding for community colleges.  This is applied to the original cut of more than $14 million. This still means Missouri’s community colleges will face core funding cuts to the tune of 6.58%, but that’s down from a proposed 9.053% cut in earlier drafts of the state budget.  All higher education institutions, other than the University of Missouri System, benefitted from this ... Read more

Budget Update – March 10, 2017

The House Budget Committee met this week to hear from the five Chairs of the House Appropriation Committees as they presented their budget recommendations. The House Budget Committee Chairman, Rep Fitzpatrick (R – Shell Knob), will analyze the budget recommendations and release committee substitutes next week. Chairman Rep. Fitzpatrick has publicly stated that his committee needs to trim $500 million from the budget and set aside some funding in order to forego potential withholds in the middle of the next fiscal ... Read more

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. “Economic development, more than anything, depends on a talented workforce,” Missouri ... Read more

Community colleges to make major workforce announcement

WHAT: Missouri’s 12 community colleges are holding a press conference and signing ceremony to unveil a major new workforce development partnership. WHO: Presidents and Chancellors from each of Missouri’s 12 community colleges will sign the partnership agreement, and will be on hand afterward to answer questions. WHEN: March 9, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. WHERE: Missouri State Capitol First Floor Rotunda WHY: For some time now, Missouri’s businesses have said that finding skilled workers is the number one challenge that they face. This puts the state ... Read more

Road Sign and Pension Legislation – March 3, 2017

Road Sign Legislation Senator Romine’s bill, SB 355, got its hearing this week. The bill was originally scheduled to be heard last week, but the committee did not get to it in time. If passed, the bill would mandate that 2-year colleges would qualify for the same road signs as 4-year institutions. Recently, the Missouri Department of Transportation stopped offering larger green road signs to 2-year institutions. Instead, community colleges were only allowed to purchase smaller signs like those displayed for restaurants ... Read more

Budget Update – March 3, 2017

Higher Education Appropriations This week, the House Subcommittee on Education Appropriations began its initial markup of the state budget proposed by the Governor. Several changes were made that have an impact on community colleges and higher education. First, cuts to all higher education institutions were equalized at 9.053% below last year’s appropriation.  As initially presented, the Governor’s budget recommendation applied a 10% cut to general revenue funding for all of higher education, but the total percentage cut was different for each institution once ... Read more

Hearings scheduled on pension and highway signage bills

This week, hearings were scheduled for two bills that would impact PSRS/PEERS and community college highway signage. The Senate Pensions committee heard a bill by Senator Romine that would allow changes in benefit in cases of divorce. The identical House version of the bill was also heard. Both bills are supported by the PSRS/PEERS board, and no opposition or questions were voiced by committee members. Another bill by Senator Romine, SB 355, was scheduled for a hearing this week. If passed, the bill would ... Read more

FY2018 Budget debuts in the House, Governor recommends changes

This week, the Missouri House of Representatives unveiled its version of the FY 2018 state budget, and Governor Eric Greitens announced a revision to his budget that would add back in $52 million. The House version of the budget was identical to the Governor’s proposed budget, which cut higher education funding dramatically. Department of Higher Education Commissioner Zora Mulligan presented the department’s proposed FY 2018 budget to the House Budget Committee on Tuesday. She also confirmed that if the House’s current budget proposal, ... Read more

Tips on talking with elected officials

You know this better than anyone, but our state’s budget is in tough shape.  The simple fact is that there have to be cuts. The likeliest way for Missouri’s finances to turn around is through solid economic growth, and the likeliest way for that to happen is for our state to invest in community colleges, higher education, and workforce development. We are working hard to deliver that message to Missouri’s policy makers, and we hope that as they make decisions on our state’s ... Read more
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