First-Round Approval for MOHELA
Republicans overcame heavy resistance from some Democrats opposed to financing the building projects with student loan profits. In addition to financing college buildings, the bill would expand student scholarships and limit tuition increases. Democrats successfully blocked the bill last month during a grueling overnight filibuster. Another Senate vote is still needed to send the bill to the House.
The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Gary Nodler (R) Joplin, says this bill would greatly favor the UM system because of a number of scholarships that would be heading its way. He mentioned that despite the loss of two sizable projects, the cancer research center on the Columbia campus, and the pharmacy school on the Kansas City campus, that the University of Missouri is still the main benefactor of the deal.
However, some democrats disagree. Sen. Maida Coleman (D) St. Louis, said the bill is hard to justify, when it leaves out the biggest school in the state. She also mentioned she believes this bill is "bad bill" and would like to see it not pass, however, after the vote on Wednesday night, some republicans believe it might pass before the end of the session.
This bill still needs to go through committee and another vote in the Senate before it moves to the House. There are only 4 weeks left in the session, however, Sen. Nodler said it should be enough time.