Following Missouri’s higher education bill

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BRANSON MO NEWS: JEFFERSON CITY — The state government beat at the Columbia Missourian is trying something new this legislative session. A team of our reporters and graphic designers will be following one bill as it moves through the House and Senate.We decided to start this project as we think it’ll be a good learning experience for both us and our readers. Over the next few months, this project will give us the opportunity to take an in-depth look at a bill as it moves through the Missouri General Assembly.For this project, we’ve chosen House Bill 2003 — the higher education appropriations bill, where all the state funding for higher education is wrapped up. But that’s not all. We’ll also be looking for cool ways to go behind the scenes to really get to the heart of how somebody can see a problem and then propose legislation to try to change it.


Garrett Giles

But first, let’s quickly catch up on what’s happened to the bill so far.Greitens released his fiscal 2019 budget proposal on Jan. 22, which included our higher education bill. His blueprint most notably cut higher education funding by $98 million, increased scholarship funding, changed how university performance goals are met and eliminated funding for cooperative programs such as MU’s School of Medicine program in Springfield, Missouri.

Dylan Jackson & Maria F. Callejon

The committee phase reversed many of the cuts proposed by Greitens. The House Budget Committee, chaired by Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, put back $68 million in higher education funding (with the caveat that tuition must remain flat) and 60 percent of the funding for cooperative programs.Now, the bill is awaiting the House floor debate, where it will be finalized before it’s sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee.The following stories will take a …


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