If Senate Republicans succeed in using their majority muscle to move MOHELA to the House, a top Republican there says he’s ready to send the $350 million college capital improvement bill straight to Governor Blunt.
House Speaker Pro Tem Carl Bearden (R-St. Charles) says he has worked closely with his Senate colleagues during the process. Bearden will carry SS SCS SB 389 in the House. Bearden says the difficult path it has taken so far in the Senate leads him to believe the House shouldn’t make any changes in the bill, which would force it to return to the Senate chamber and likely another protracted debate that would end in another motion to cut off debate.
The MOHELA bill is a top priority of Governor Blunt. It calls for the selling of $350 million dollars in assets from the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority to finance the capital improvement program. It also contains money to enhance college scholarship programs, a top priority of Bearden’s, and a cap on college tuition increases.
Bearden says he believes the issue has cleared the biggest obstacle in the House, by deleting anything that might be construed as funding stem cell research. He says the bill now should allay any fears of pro-life legislators.
Bearden doesn’t have the bill yet. It takes another vote in the Senate to send it to the House. That vote is likely to come early next week.