MoHELA rises from the grave
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MoHELA rises from the grave

Date: May 5, 2009
By: Emily Coleman
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HB 22

JEFFERSON CITY - Funding for a new Ellis Fischel Cancer Center survived other cuts that were made by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday to a bill that would fund projects across the state with federal stimulus funds.

The committee voted in favor of the altered bill unanimously Tuesday afternoon.

A number of projects were added and removed from the bill, upping the amount appropriated to $365 million from $336 million from the state's Federal Budget Stabilization Fund. 

The committee substitute includes the addition of funding for those projects that had been suspended but never initiated when funding from the sale of Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority assets was stopped by Gov. Jay Nixon in January.

The Senate also debated Tuesday the sale of bonds to fund higher education capital projects, some of which include MoHELA projects. Money received from the state will be capped so that the projects don't receive double funding.

A number of programs, including an outreach program for St. Louis high school dropouts, maintenance at the Southeast Missouri State University and the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a plant science research facility in Mexico, Mo., were cut out of the bill.

Continuing some of the concerns voiced Monday during the House debate, Sen. Yvonne Wilson, D-Jackson County, proposed funding for the Kansas City Transportation Authority.

The St. Louis Metro received $12 million in the bill.

"This has become a very, very sticky item," Wilson said. "I've had more than 100 e-mails -- and they're not standard e-mails; they are stand-alone requests for funding for KCATA -- and my telephone has been ringing off the hook all day for funding for KCATA."

Wilson said public transportation is a necessity for families that use it to get to and from work.

Senate Appropriations Committee chair, Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, voiced his opposition to Wilson's amendment.

"I heard this request, and that request led to another request from Springfield, and that began to lead to other requests," Nodler said. "Based on the ever-expanding size of Santa Claus's bag, I will be recommending a defeat of this amendment."

The amendment failed.

There are no guarantees that the bill will remain unchanged once it reaches the entire Senate, where it may face further amendments.

Changes from the House Version



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