The proposal, however, bears little resemblance to the Gov. Matt Blunt’s original plan to spur an economic boom in the state by making Missouri a hub of life science research and instead focuses primarily on campus maintenance projects. An $89.5 million life sciences research center at the University of Missouri-Columbia – the centerpiece of the plan – was stripped from the final project list. Both the Columbia and Kansas City campuses of the UM System ended up with nothing.
The House of Representatives passed SB 389 granting the legal authorization for the sale proceeds to be used for construction projects on May 7. The House endorsed HB 16 and HB 17, which include the project lists, days later. All three bills went to the governor to be signed into law. Critics of the sale, however, may launch a referendum petition drive to place SB 389 on the November ballot for voter approval, preventing SB 389 from taking effect on Aug. 28 as scheduled and, at least temporarily, stopping the deal.