The state House has voted to cut another $1-million from the University of Missouri, and rejected a proposal to partially restore an increase in performance-based funding.
The House budget proposal would give all colleges and universities in the state except for MU a 2-percent increase in funding. Representative Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) proposed giving MU a 1-percent increase. He urged those lawmakers still upset with MU to be satisfied with the $7.6-million cut to its administration.
“My contention would be that this performance funding was something that has been set out in statute to say these are the performance measures that we are going to attempt to hit and if we do, we receive those dollars,” said Rowden. “There has never been a precedent by which the university or any university has hit their performance measures and failed to receive those dollars.”
His proposal was defeated. Some lawmakers including Representative Tila Hubrecht (R-Dexter) said that was because he proposed taking money from a cost-share program being developed to help pay for some road and bridge work.
“In my district we have the most number of critical bridges,” said Hubrecht. “Those bridges are vital to us.”
The House did approve taking $1-million from the Columbia campus and putting it toward agriculture research at Lincoln University in Jefferson City. That proposal came from Representative Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City), who said Lincoln University is eligible for matching money from the federal government.
“They’re eligible for matches from the federal government that they haven’t gotten because they haven’t been funded by this body,” said Barnes during House debate.
Representative Stephen Webber (D-Columbia) said Barnes’ amendment would be bad policy.
“It’s going to make it more difficult for students to receive education, it’s going to hurt low-wage workers, and the Missouri General Assembly needs to do better than pitting students against students in a fight to obtain a higher education,” said Webber.