Legislative Priorities

Bear statue


Priority 1

Appropriate on-going and one time funds to provide the finances and infrastructure needed to continue Missouri State University’s growth

Sustain Missouri State University’s operating appropriation

The fiscal year 2017 budget included $91,649,516 in base operating appropriation for Missouri State. $6,317,673 of that appropriation was restricted. The fiscal year 2018 budget reduced the university’s base appropriation to $85,620,837. $2,219,777 has been restricted, and we do not anticipate receiving the restricted funds.

In addition to the base appropriation, the fiscal year 2017 budget included a $2 million ($1 million was appropriated to Missouri State and $1 million to Missouri University of Science and Technology) on-going operating appropriation to expand the collaborative engineering program on Missouri State’s campus. $808,338 of that appropriation was restricted. The fiscal year 2018 budget reduced the appropriation to $1 million ($500,000 for Missouri State and $500,000 for Missouri University of Science and Technology), and that entire appropriation has been restricted.

Further reductions will require Missouri State to make drastic cuts to educational services provided to students and/or significant increases in tuition and fees.

Missouri State University requests that the fiscal year 2019 budget include:

  • A reappropriation of the $85,620,837 base included in the fiscal year 2018 budget;
  • Restoration of $4,281,042 of the base appropriation included in the fiscal year 2017 budget;
  • A reappropriation of the $1 million line item for the collaborative engineering program included in the fiscal year 2018 budget;
  • Restoration of the other $1 million for the collaborative engineering program included in the fiscal year 2017 budget.

Missouri State further requests that the special line item for the collaborative engineering program be combined with the operating appropriation base into a single core line.

Appropriate $1,092,000 in matching capital funds for the Ozarks Education Center at Bull Shoals

Missouri State University’s Bull Shoals Field Station, located in Taney County, provides a location for education and research by Missouri State faculty and students, other universities and non-profit organizations. University classes are offered completely on-site in the summer and as field trips throughout the year. A summer academy for high school students has been offered since 2009 and field trips with a nearby middle school occur each summer. Faculty and students have completed research at the station on breeding birds, native bats, effects of controlled burning, aquatic ecology, amphibian behavior and other topics. The station monitors Bull Shoals Lake, Bee Creek, bird populations and seasonal change using technology as part of a national network.

While there is an increasing demand for educational programming and opportunities available at the Bull Shoals Field Station, facilities are very limited. A donor has graciously donated $1,092,000 in land adjacent to the existing field station property, contingent on the university’s commitment to build an education center at the Bull Shoals Field Station.

The university requests that the state match the $1,092,000 donation with a capital appropriation to construct the Ozarks Education Center at Bull Shoals. With this investment, Missouri State University will construct a facility that will provide one central location to accommodate large groups of students and researchers for classes, research, activities and programs.

Appropriate sector equity funding for Missouri State University-West Plains

Missouri State University-West Plains (MSU-WP) is one of 14 public two-year colleges in Missouri. The college is located in the 17th poorest congressional district and, unlike community colleges, it does not receive property tax revenue to support its operations. Over the past several years, the other 13 public two-year colleges have received equity funding above their core appropriations. MSU-WP was the only public two-year college not to receive equity funding. Should public two-year colleges receive equity funding or a similar appropriation in fiscal year 2019, Missouri State requests that MSU-WP receive its share of such funding.

Reimburse Missouri State University for tuition waivers under the Missouri Returning Heroes Act

Missouri Returning Heroes Act (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 173.900) requires public universities to reduce tuition for combat veterans to $50.00 per credit hour.

The Missouri Returning Heroes Act is a good law that provides meaningful assistance to combat veterans.  Missouri State University is proud to enroll combat veterans under the Act.

The Act contains a provision for public universities to seek reimbursement from the state for tuition waived for combat veterans. Missouri State University has sought this reimbursement in past years, but the State has not appropriated it.

Missouri State University requests that the General Assembly appropriate a reimbursement for the tuition waived for combat veterans. In fiscal year 2017, Missouri State waived $109,275 in tuition for combat veterans under the Missouri Returning Heroes Act. Throughout the life of the program, Missouri State has waived a total of $648,448 in tuition.


Priority 2

Modify statutory constraints on Missouri State University’s ability to offer graduate and professional degrees

The law limits Missouri State University’s ability to develop graduate and professional degree programs, effectively requiring all such programs to be established only through cooperative arrangements under which the University of Missouri is the degree granting institution.

Missouri State University has worked with higher education and legislative leaders throughout the state to develop a legislative package that addresses several degree limitation and academic program approval concerns. One of the provisions of the proposed bill will significantly reduce the statutory constraints on Missouri State’s ability to develop graduate and professional degrees.

Missouri State supports this legislation, as does the University of Missouri. The legislation is also supported by all other public universities and community colleges in the state.

Missouri State University requests that the General Assembly pass this legislative package.