Some heated debate. Some harsh words. But, in the end, a strong first-round vote is given the plan to spend $450 million that might be coming the state’s way through the sell of assets from the state student loan agency. Democrat after Democrat take to the House floor to criticize Governor Blunt’s plans to use money from the sale of Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority assets, but few actually vote against it. The MOHELA bill wins preliminary approval on a 110-to-45 vote. Representative Clint Zweifel (D-Florissant) stood by his “No” vote, telling colleagues they are moving forward on an uncertain plan, one that has not been thoroughly thought out.Democrats claim the sale of half its assets will weaken MOHELA and drive up interest rates on college student loans. MOHELA hasn’t sold the assets yet and likely won’t do so until the summer. Governor Blunt proposes spending the majority of the money on collage campus construction projects throughout the state. Some of the money generated would be used to fund scholarships. House Budget Committee Chairman, Allen Icet (R-Wildwood), says the bill incorporates the legislature’s vision for higher education. One more positive vote shifts the debate to the Senate.The bill is HB 1022.
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