A major piece of legislation passes the House and is on its way to Governor Blunt, who is sure to welcome it, because it has been one of his top priorities for the past two years.
MOHELA has made it through the legislature to Governor Blunt. Blunt has proposed for two years to sell assets from the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority to finance college capital improvements. House sponsor, Rep. Carl Bearden (R-St. Charles) declares the bill will be the most significant higher education bill approved by the legislature in years.
Bearden disputes accusations that an analyst reviewing the proposal warned that selling $350 million in assets would cripple MOHELA’s ability to provide low-interest student loans. Still, the top Democrat in the House, Rep. Jeff Harris (D-Columbia), challenges Bearden and assets that the analysis of the plan questioned its effect on the student loan agency.
The issue has been an intensely partisan one which nearly went down to defeat when fears arose that some of the capital improvements would involve embryonic stem cell research. Though it went through several versions, the MOHELA bill never satisfied concerns raised by pro-life lobbyists at the Capitol. It did satisfy the concerns of enough pro-life legislators to win on a 91-to-64 vote.
SS#6 SCS SB 389 now awaits the governor’s signature.