Voting for an amendment on bonds for higher education is delayed
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Voting for an amendment on bonds for higher education is delayed

Date: April 27, 2009
By: Nathan Higgins
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: Although no opposition testified against the bill, a few Senators voiced concern over a proposed constitutional amendment.

Nathan Higgins has more from the State Capitol.

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OutCue: SOC

The Senate Appropriations committee heard a constitutional amendment but failed to vote on the amendment which would create bonds to fund building construction and improvements for Missouri colleges.

Supporters of the bill say the amendment would boost the economy by creating jobs and creating capitol.

Some senators disagreed like St. Louis Democratic Senator Joan Bray who questioned the importance of bonds for higher education construction.

Actuality:  BRAY3.WAV
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Description: "I have a problem with putting a number on one department which could theoretically end up with lower priorities getting funded when we have huge, higher priorities in other departments."

Bray instead talked about using funds for mental health facilities or prisons.

In Jefferson City, I'm Nathan Higgins, News Radio 11-20 KMOX.

 


Intro: One Missouri Senator warned that Missouri is digging itself too far into debt and he said a proposed constitutional amendment would add to that debt.

Nathan Higgins has more from the State Capitol.

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OutCue: SOC

St. Louis Democratic Senator Tim Green voiced concern about a constitutional amendment that would provide funding for Missouri college building and improvements on campuses state wide.

Green said he's worried the State government won't keep enough money to run itself.

Green also said Missouri is in a spend, spend, spend mentality and that Missourians rarely worry about debt build-up.

Actuality:  GREEN.WAV
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Description: "Everybody is quick to pull the credit card out now, but when we have to pay down on the credit card, no one is willing to cut services."

President of Lincoln University Dr. Carolyn Mahoney said Missouri universities have plans to cut services and costs to help offset expenses in building construction, thus reducing state debt in the plan.

In Jefferson City, I'm Nathan Higgins, News Radio 11-20 KMOX.


Intro: Supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment say the amendment, if passed, would boost Missouri's economy.

Nathan Higgins has more from the State Capitol.

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OutCue: SOC

College spokespeople spoke in front of the Senate Appropriations committee supporting a proposed constitutional amendment that would give them funding for building construction and improvements.

College spokespeople said they wanted to receive funds from bonds instead of raising tuition and putting the cost on students.

Bill sponsor Columbia Democratic Representative Chris Kelly said now is the time to act.

Actuality:  KELLY7.WAV
Run Time: 00:08
Description: "I think the universities need the work, the time to get the money is currently, and we'll get the work done inexpensively."


Although no one testified against the bill, some Democratic Senators voiced concern with digging Missouri deeper into debt.

In Jefferson City, I'm Nathan Higgins, News Radio 11-20 KMOX.


Intro: The Senate Appropriations committee delayed voting on a proposal causing concern for one Senator.

Nathan Higgins has more from the State Capitol.

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OutCue: SOC

Clarence Democratic Senator Wes Shoemyer confirmed that a new substitute may have delayed voting on the constitutional amendment.

The proposal would create bonds that would fund construction for Missouri colleges.

Columbia Democratic Senator Kurt Schaefer's substitute would increase funding from 700 million dollars to 800 million dollars.

Shoemyer says he's reluctant with the substitute. 

Actuality:  SHOEMYER.WAV
Run Time: 00:03
Description: "Growing that larger is probably not a way to get that passed through the Senate."

Other Senators would not comment on Shoemyer's concerns or the concern of stall tactics to kill the bill.

Executive session was planned but eventually canceled during the Senate Appropriations committee hearing.

In Jefferson City, I'm Nathan Higgins, News Radio 11-20 KMOX.