Governor Matt Blunt’s plan to sell assets of the state’s student loan agency and use the money to finance new higher education buildings has suffered a setback.  Six buildings have been removed from the bill authorizing the asset sale.  They’re victims of the political battle over stem cell research.

The Missouri Development Finance Board, which will parcel out money for the projects, says none of the money can be used for buildings where embryonic stem cell research could take place.  University of Missouri curators have agreed with that. Some groups say that’s an unwarranted limit on research and infringes on academic freedom. Other groups say it’s a useless agreement because Amendment 2 adopted last year overrides the board’s position.

The committee has sent the modified bill,  SB 389 , to the full senate for debate.