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Thursday, April 26, 2007


Legislation providing the legal authorization for Gov. Matt Blunt’s proposed sale of Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority assets cleared the Senate on April 26 following weeks of opposition by Democrats. SB 389, which also caps tuition increases at public colleges and universities, was sent to the House of Representatives on a 23-11 vote.

The governor’s plan calls for selling a portion of MOHELA’s student loan portfolio to raise $350 million for campus construction projects, which are included in another bill the Senate had earlier forwarded to the House. The current plan, however, bears little resemblance to Blunt’s original proposal to bolster life sciences research and spur economic development throughout the state. All projects for the UM System’s Columbia and Kansas City campuses have been stripped from project list, which now focuses on maintenance and repair projects. Critics say the sale will jeopardize MOHELA’s ability to continue providing lost-cost student loans.

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