Yes they should…no they shouldn’t…..It’s within the law….it’s a violation of law….. The board of the state’s student loan agency meets today under intense pressure to sell 350-million dollars of its assets despite questions of the legality of the action. Governor Blunt wants the board to provide money for capital improvements at universities and colleges. Lawyers from his administration or paid by his administration say it’s okay. But others, including Attorney General Jay Nixon, say the sale would violate the state law that says the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority’s only purpose is to “assure that all eligible postsecondary education students have access to student loans that are guaranteed or insured, or both.” Those are words from the state statute. Blunt administration lawyer Henry Herschel denies the sale violates the law. He says the law requires the board to make loans for a public purpose and the agency will continue to make loans. The opinion that everything about the deal is okay comes from a lawyer paid by the Office of Administraiton who also gives legal advice to MOHELA. Herschel says that’s not a conflict of interest—because the lawyer and the Office of Administration say it’s not. Earlier this year the board’s CEO said the sale of assets could not be approved without a change in state law. The legislature didn’t changed it….and the Blunt administration’s lawyers say the legislature did not need to change it. Herschel, says the deal would not have been on any firmer ground if the legislature had acted. Herschel says the administration has not asked for an Attorney General’s opinion because Nixon would be more likely to give a political opinion than a legal opinion. Nixon is running for Governor in 2008, perhaps against Blunt. Nixon sent a nine-page letter to the MOHELA board learier this week with a series of reasons he thinks the divestiture of assets is a bad ideal, and illegal.
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