It was a short week for lawmakers in Jefferson City as they dismissed early on Wednesday due to the approaching storm. Click to hear KMZU’s Kristie Cross talk to Senator David Pearce:
According to the senator, lawmakers did they allow time for discussion of Senate Bill 9. “This would give the ability of either single counties or multiple counties to join together and create an extension district for the purpose of organizing and planning, ” said Pearce,” If they wanted they could, by a vote of the local people, have a taxing authority to create funds. That money could be used for hiring staff, expanding programs, facilities, and things of that nature. There is a maximum of no more than 30 cents per $100 assessed valuation.”
The bill passed in a roll call vote by a count of 23 to seven. It will now move to the House for approval and then await the Governor’s signature.
Work continued this week to put the finishing touches on a funding formula for higher education. Pearce said basing a portion of those dollars on performance is receiving a favorable response from Missouri residents. “I think people like that we have certain things we believe are important and worth rewarding universities for accomplishing,” said Pearce, “These include things such as graduation rates and retention of students. We aren’t as interested in how many students that have in October, but rather how many actually complete the class.”
According to Pearce, there is still some debate between lawmakers on the topic and they’re hearing from two-year institutions who are concerned about their portion of the funds being distributed properly. An education hearing scheduled at the capital on Wednesday afternoon was cancelled due to an early dismissal prior to the arrival of the winter storm.