The vote of the board of the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority on Governor Matt Blunt’s capital improvements initiative for colleges and universities is in the books – the Board voted 4-2 in favor of the proposal, which is subject to legislative approval. But the reason behind the vote being changed from a “final” to a “conditional” vote remains a sore spot with at least one of the board members. The Board added the “subject to legislative approval” amendment following warnings from Attorney General Jay Nixon that members who voted for the initiative might leave themselves open to lawsuits. Board member Greg Upchurch, a St. Louis lawyer, says that was the wrong approach for opponents to take, and it remains a concern. He calls Nixon’s warning a threat, which “smacked of intimidation,” and says he doesn’t like it at all. Governor Blunt has maintained, all along, that his plan to have MOHELA sell off $350-Million of its assets is perfectly legal. Blunt has criticized what he calls Nixon’s threats as being a form of harassment.
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