Last week the Missouri legislature held its veto session. The General Assembly overrode the Governor’s vetoes on 13 bills.
Partial funding for Glass Hall renovations restricted
Two of the bills will result in an anticipated loss of more than $50 million in tax revenue for the state. The Governor has announced that because of this lost revenue, he will be restricting additional appropriations from the state’s budget.
These restrictions will have a significant impact on K-12 public education and higher education. The restrictions include more than $24 million in ongoing funding for education at all levels and more than $6 million for higher education capital projects.
One of the restrictions will have a direct impact on our campus. The Governor has withheld $1.875 million of the $5 million appropriated for the Glass Hall project. The $33.8 million project is being funded by revenue bonds, gifts to the Missouri State University Foundation, university reserves and capital appropriations. We will deal with this $1.875 million restriction by modifying the work to be completed and minimizing construction deviations. This is unfortunate, but responsible stewardship requires that we respond appropriately.
The Governor has indicated it is unlikely the restricted funds will be released this fiscal year. However, we will continue to work with the current Governor and the Governor-elect in November to advocate that the Glass Hall funds be released. In the event the funds are not released, university reserves and foundation gifts will make up any shortfall after modifications to the project have been made.
Firearm legislation does not change campus policy
You may have seen media reports on one other bill— a firearm bill (frequently referred to as “constitutional carry”). The General Assembly overrode the Governor’s veto on this bill.
We have received several inquiries regarding the firearm bill. Despite what you may have heard, this bill does not prohibit public universities from regulating possession of firearms on campus, and the Board of Governors still has the power to adopt such regulations.
We are currently reviewing all of Missouri’s firearm laws to ensure that our existing firearm policy complies and best protects the university community. Missouri State’s existing firearm policy, which prohibits unauthorized possession of firearms on campus, will remain in place unless our Board of Governors changes it.
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