Attorney General Jay Nixon insists Governor Blunt’s plan to raise $350 million for college capital improvements is legally flawed and he denies his assessment is motivated by politics. Nixon says that the Blunt Administration needs to work to change the law if it wants its plan to be legally sound. Nixon says Blunt’s plan for the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority to sell off assets to fund capital improvements would fundamentally alter MOHELA’s purpose, which he insists can only be done through the legislature. Nixon says MOHELA can sell assets to raise capital, but he says its charter outlined in law restricts the money’s use. It can only go toward easing access to college, such as providing for low-interest loans and debt forgiveness. Nixon acknowledges MOHELA has changed greatly since the legislature created it in 1981 and he says it has greater ability to help increase student access to college than ever before and should be considering how to do that, not how to funnel money into capital improvements. Nixon denies politics motivate his objections, saying that a nine-page letter sent to the MOHELA board would be poor political speak. Nixon is the Democrat front-runner to challenge Blunt’s re-election bid in 2008.
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