Priority 1: Increase MSU's operating appropriation
Last year, the General Assembly increased operating appropriations for public universities by 3.7% (the cumulative increase in CPI for 2019 and 2020) to help cover accumulated cost increases such as MOSERS contributions, utilities, employee benefits and increased technology costs.
MSU greatly appreciates this investment. MSU has reallocated more than $25 million in expenses and eliminated more than 100 positions in the past four years. Without this increase, MSU would have had to make further cuts and reduce services to students to fund mandatory cost increases. Thank you to our legislators for this important increase.
As we budget for another year, MSU faces a new set of cost increases. The university’s mandatory MOSERS increase alone will cost $2.8 million next fiscal year. Moreover, high inflation will result in above normal increases in the cost of labor, vendor contracts and life-safety maintenance on facilities.
These cost increases are set against a backdrop of public universities’ long-standing funding challenges.
Missouri State requests an increase in its operating appropriation for FY2023 to help cover cost increases exacerbated by the high rate of inflation.
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Priority 2: Extend and expand the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant
The General Assembly enacted the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant in 2019. The grant addresses workforce needs by providing financial aid to adults who pursue a certificate, degree or industry-recognized credential in a high-need field.
Students can use the aid to attend public or private colleges, universities, or vocational/ technical schools. Recipients must live and work in Missouri for three years after graduation. If they do not, the grant converts to a loan that must be repaid with interest.
The enabling legislation for the program, RSMo 173.2553, sunsets on Aug. 28, 2022. Missouri State University requests that the program be extended.
Additionally, MSU requests the General Assembly consider changes to the program to encourage participation. These changes include eliminating the forgivable-loan provisions and expanding the fields of study to which the program applies.