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13 February 2012

Schaefer: Higher Education Capital Find Proposed, Visits From Ethanol Promoters and Freedom Of Road Riders

Last week I met with the Missouri Corn Growers Association, who presented me with an American Ethanol NASCAR model car, as shown below (left).

Pictured left to right are Kyle Kirby of Liberal, Mo., Sen. Schaefer, Billy Thiel of Malta Bend, Mo., and Rob Korff of Norborne, Mo.

Physician of the Day, Dr. Ted Groshong, and Sen. Schaefer on the Senate floor last Thursday (2/2).

Commissioners Dan Atwill and Karen Miller of Boone County and Sen. Schaefer on the Senate floor, also last Thursday.

This week, on Monday afternoon (2/6) the Senate Appropriations committee heard testimony from the offices of Administration and Real Estate concerning necessary funding for continued projects that benefit Missourians.

Later that afternoon, Lorenzo Lawson, Executive Director at Youth Empowerment Zone (YEZ), located in Columbia, MO, stopped by my office. As a youth advocate, Lawson’s role is pivotal in the lives of at- risk Columbia youth, ages 14-24, who are interested in finding work. YEZ is designed to guide urban youth towards employment and a brighter future. We discussed the concerns of his organization and the limits of Missouri’s current budget.

On Tuesday (2/7), the Senate Appropriations Committee heard from Department of Higher Education before and after executive session. Chuck Ambrose, University of Central Missouri president and member of the Council on Public Higher Education; Steve Owens, University of Missouri interim president; and Evelyn Jorgenson, Moberly Area Community College president. were in attendance and testified on behalf of higher education.

On Wednesday morning (2/8), the Senate Appropriation Committee heard from Sen. Timothy Green concerning the adoption of Senate Bill 655. SB 655 would create the "Higher Education Capital Fund." The fund would allow the General Assembly to appropriate monies to the fund to provide matching funds to public colleges or universities for capital projects. Fifty percent of the fund must be raised by the college or university in order to receive matching funds. Public colleges and universities would be prohibited from using budget funds, tuition, fees, or bond revenues to produce their portion of the capital project's cost. Testimony was heard concerning the state's public debt and the Office of Administration's debt.

Wednesday afternoon I filed three bills. Senate Bill 764, which would modify provisions relating to Missouri’s Sunshine Law. The provisions included in this bill expand the definitions of what constitutes as a “public record” and “public body.”

Senate Bill 765 would allow clerks of circuit courts to collect a surcharge when processing garnishments. The money collected will then be placed in a fund used to maintain and improve case processing and record preservation.

Finally, Senate Bill 766 would reauthorize the Residential Treatment Agency Tax Credit until August 28, 2012. This bill would also allow certain children’s homes to receive donations and apply for tax credits as well as increase the limit on the amount of tax credits that a residential care facility or children’s home may receive.

The Freedom of the Road Riders organization was in Jefferson City late Wednesday afternoon to support motorcycle legislation. Freedom of the Road Riders has been effective in influencing Missouri motorcycle policy and keeping its members informed and safe on the roads. Senator Wm. H. "Bill" Stouffer (far right) and I are always happy to have a visit from these dedicated individuals.

Congratulations to the University of Missouri men’s basketball team for its success last week against Kansas and Oklahoma. The game Saturday against its long-time rival, University of Kansas, brought ESPN College Gameday to Mizzou Arena.

The win energized the city of Columbia and will likely be remembered as one of the most exciting games in the long history of this rivalry. Good luck to the team in the upcoming game against Baylor University.

Thank you for your continued interest in the issues that affect the citizens of Boone and Randolph counties. If you have any questions or concerns throughout this session, please contact my office.

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